Geovisualizations provide a means to inspect large complex multivariate datasets for information that would not otherwise be available with a tabular view or summary statistics alone. Aesthetically appealing visualizations can elicit prolonged exploration and encourage discovery. Creating data geovisualizations that are effective and beautiful is an important yet difficult challenge. Here we present a tool for rendering geovisualizations of continuous spatial data using the painterly techniques of impressionist-era artists. The techniques, which have been tested in controlled studies, vary the visual properties (e.g., hue, size, and tilt) of brush strokes to represent multiple data attributes simultaneously in each location. To demonstrate this technique, we render two examples 1) weather data attributes (e.g., temperature, windspeed, atmospheric pressure) from the NOAA Global Forecast System and 2) fragile state indices as assessed by Foreign Policy Magazine. These examples demonstrate how open source geospatial visualizations can harness aesthetics to enhance visual communication and viewer engagement.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.