Diogo Cardoso, September 2016

Gisplay: A High-Level Client-Side API for Interactive Thematic Maps using WebGL

João Moura Pires (superv.), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, September 2016.

Keywords: Thematic maps, WebGL, Visual Analytics, Javascript API
Abstract: The growing amount of spatial data produced and stored leads to higher use of thematic maps. During this dissertation, a survey about the main thematic maps APIs existing today was done. These APIs present performance issues when dealing with large amounts of data, and they do not always provide the desired abstraction. With the appearance of the WebGL technology, a better performance for rendering graphics in the browser can be achieved, but still there are no APIs that use this technology while providing a high level of abstraction for the construction of various types of thematic maps. This thesis proposes and implements a high-level JavaScript API, called Gisplay, targeting the construction of thematic maps rendered by WebGL. Gisplay provides a high level of abstraction for the construction and customization of several thematic maps, as well as for the interactive actions such as pan, zoom and filtering. The developed API can be easily integrated with external libraries for developing interconnected visualization methods, and it can also be extended. This API is composed by an intermediate API and a high-level API. The former contains the core functions regarding the construction of thematic maps while the latter uses those functions to implement the several types of thematic maps. Finally, Gisplay was assessed following a set of criteria defined under the scope of this dissertation.

Dissertation (PT)