City Research Online

Quantitative data graphics in 3D desktop-based virtual environments – an evaluation

Dykes, J. & Bleisch, S. (2015). Quantitative data graphics in 3D desktop-based virtual environments – an evaluation. International Journal of Digital Earth, 8(8), pp. 623-639. doi: 10.1080/17538947.2014.927536


3D desktop-based virtual environments provide a means for displaying quantitative data in context. Data that is inherently spatial in three-dimensions may benefit from visual exploration and analysis in relation to the environment in which they were collected and to which they relate. We empirically evaluate how effectively and efficiently such data can be visually analyzed in relation to location and landform in 3D versus 2D visualizations. In two experiments, participants performed visual analysis tasks in 2D and 3D visualizations and reported insights and their confidence in them. The results showed only small differences between the 2D and 3D visualizations in the performance measures that we evaluated: task completion time, confidence, complexity, and insight plausibility. However, we found differences for different data sets and settings suggesting that 3D visualizations, or 2D representations respectively, may be more or less useful for particular data sets and contexts.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in International Journal of Digital Earth on 30 June 2014, available online:
Publisher Keywords: 3D, geovisualization, quantitative data graphics, visual data analysis, empirical evaluation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Library & Information Science
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
Text - Accepted Version
Download (3MB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login