Semmo, Amir; Trapp, Matthias; Jobst, Markus; Döllner, Jürgen
The Cartographic Journal
In economy, society and personal life map-based, interactive geospatial visualization becomes a natural element of a growing number of applications and systems. The visualization of 3D geospatial information, however, raises the question how to represent the information in an effective way. Considerable research has been done in technology-driven directions in the fields of cartography and computer graphics (e.g., design principles, visualization techniques). Here, non-photorealistic rendering represents a promising visualization category–situated between both fields–that offers a large number of degrees for the cartography-oriented visual design of complex 2D and 3D geospatial information for a given application context. Still today, however, specifications and techniques for mapping cartographic design principles to the state-of-the-art rendering pipeline of 3D computer graphics remain to be explored. This paper revisits cartographic design principles for 3D geospatial visualization and introduces an extended 3D semiotic model that complies with the general, interactive visualization pipeline. Based on this model, we propose non-photorealistic rendering techniques to interactively synthesize cartographic renditions of basic feature types, such as terrain, water, and buildings. In particular, it includes a novel iconification concept to seamlessly interpolate between photorealistic and cartographic representations of 3D landmarks. Our work concludes with a discussion of open challenges in this field of research, including topics such as user interaction and evaluation.