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GIScience, Cartographic Visualization and Information Mining

Author: Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou

GIScience and GIS tools can help scientists visualize and explore natural and social phenomena such as global warming, ocean currents, and human migrations. Cartographic visualization is part of GIScience and focuses on human cognition, analysis of data from physical sciences, and computer graphic display. This research will adopt various cartographic visualization methods (point symbols, color scheme, classification, networking, transparency, etc.) and GIS mapping software, combined with inputs from other fields, to understand and visualize the dynamic changes of information landscape and the Spatial Web.

The design of SWARMS prototype will focus on the appropriate spatial scales for mapping the locations of web pages and websites. We will analyze the potential errors (uncertainty) in the geo-locationing process and the accuracy of web server registration addresses. For examples, some personal weblogs might be published in a commercial website and the Weblog URL will only be linked to the commercial web server rather than individual blogger’s locations. In this case, we might test different scale level maps (from country-scale to city-scale to street-level-scale) and find out the relationship between the spatial scale and the keywords. The spatial scale questions will be the focus on the second year improvement of the SWARMS.

The resulting map will provide a visual “information landscape” consisting of hundreds of website locations (using real world coordinate systems) containing related keywords or similar ideas. When integrated with time-series analyses, this map will allow examination of the paths and speed of information dissemination, as well as the evolving varieties of various ideas and their relationships. The visualization of these space-time and semantic relationships, mapped onto unfolding events such as human or natural crises, will enhance ability to assess the global situation and global risk at a glance.

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