Visual Computing

University of Konstanz
Visualization and Data Analysis 2014

Visual abstraction of complex motion patterns

H. Janetzko, D. Jäckle, O. Deussen, D. Keim
Teaser of Visual abstraction of complex motion patterns


Paper (.pdf, 10.3MB)


Today’s tracking devices allow high spatial and temporal resolutions and due to their decreasing size also an ever increasing number of application scenarios. However, understanding motion over time is quite difficult as soon as the resulting trajectories are getting complex. Simply plotting the data may obscure important patterns since trajectories over long time periods often include many revisits of the same place which creates a high degree of over-plotting. Furthermore, important details are often hidden due to a combination of large-scale transitions with local and small-scale movement patterns. We present a visualization and abstraction technique for such complex motion data. By analyzing the motion patterns and displaying them with visual abstraction techniques a synergy of aggregation and simplification is reached. The capabilities of the method are shown in real-world applications for tracked animals and discussed with experts from biology. Our proposed abstraction techniques reduce visual clutter and help analysts to understand the movement patterns that are hidden in raw spatiotemporal data.


  author    = {H. Janetzko, D. Jäckle, O. Deussen, D. Keim},
  booktitle = {Visualization and Data Analysis 2014},
  doi       = {10.1117/12.2035959},
  editor    = {Wong, Pak Chung and Kao, David L. and Hao, Ming C. and Chen, Chaomei},
  note      = {Article Number: 90170J},
  number    = {9017},
  publisher = {SPIE},
  series    = {SPIE Proceedings},
  title     = {Visual abstraction of complex motion patterns},
  url       = {},
  year      = {2014}