Geographic visualization research has focused on a variety of techniques to represent and explore spatiotemporal data. The goal of those techniques is to enable users to explore events and interactions over space and time in order to facilitate the discovery of patterns, anomalies and relationships within the data. However, it is difficult to extract and visualize data flow patterns over time for non-directional statistical data without trajectory information. In this work, we develop a novel flow analysis technique to extract, represent, and analyze flow maps of non-directional spatiotemporal data unaccompanied by trajectory information. We estimate a continuous distribution of these events over space and time, and extract flow fields for spatial and temporal changes utilizing a gravity model. Then, we visualize the spatiotemporal patterns in the data by employing flow visualization techniques. The user is presented with temporal trends of geo-referenced discrete events on a map. As such, overall spatiotemporal data flow patterns help users analyze geo-referenced temporal events, such as disease outbreaks, crime patterns, etc. To validate our model, we discard the trajectory information in an origin-destination dataset and apply our technique to the data and compare the derived trajectories and the original. Finally, we present spatiotemporal trend analysis for statistical datasets including twitter data, maritime search and rescue events, and syndromic surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7847429
Pages (from-to)1287-1300
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Spatiotemporal data visualization
  • flow map
  • gravity model
  • kernel density estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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