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Rendering Effective Route Maps: Improving Usability Through Generalization Maneesh Agrawala Chris Stolte

Summary: Rendering Effective Route Maps: Improving Usability Through Generalization
Maneesh Agrawala Chris Stolte
Stanford University£
Figure 1: Three route maps for the same route rendered by (left) a standard computer-mapping system, (middle) a person, and (right) LineDrive, our route map rendering system.
The standard computer-generated map is difficult to use because its large, constant scale factor causes the short roads to vanish and because it is cluttered with extraneous details such
as city names, parks, and roads that are far away from the route. Both the handdrawn map and the LineDrive map exaggerate the lengths of the short roads to ensure their visibility
while maintainaing a simple, clean design that emphasizes the most essential information for following the route. Note that the handdrawn map was created without seeing either the
standard computer-generated map or the LineDrive map. (Handdrawn map courtesy of Mia Trachinger.)
Route maps, which depict a path from one location to another, have
emerged as one of the most popular applications on the Web. Cur-
rent computer-generated route maps, however, are often very diffi-
cult to use. In this paper we present a set of cartographic general-
ization techniques specifically designed to improve the usability of
route maps. Our generalization techniques are based both on cogni-
tive psychology research studying how route maps are used and on
an analysis of the generalizations commonly found in handdrawn
route maps. We describe algorithmic implementations of these gen-
eralization techniques within LineDrive, a real-time system for au-
tomatically designing and rendering route maps. Feedback from


Source: Agrawala, Maneesh - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California at Berkeley
DeCarlo, Doug - Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University
Stanford University - Computer Graphics Laboratory


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences