Combining 2D and 3D Visualization with Visual Analytics in the Environmental Domain

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Information 2022, 13(1), 7


The application potential of Visual Analytics (VA), with its supporting interactive 2D and 3D visualization techniques, in the environmental domain is unparalleled. Such advanced systems may enable an in-depth interactive exploration of multifaceted geospatial and temporal changes in very large and complex datasets. This is facilitated by a unique synergy of modules for simulation, analysis, and visualization, offering instantaneous visual feedback of transformative changes in the underlying data. However, even if the resulting knowledge holds great potential for supporting decision-making in the environmental domain, the consideration of such techniques still have to find their way to daily practice. To advance these developments, we demonstrate four case studies that portray different opportunities in data visualization and VA in the context of climate research and natural disaster management. Firstly, we focus on 2D data visualization and explorative analysis for climate change detection and urban microclimate development through a comprehensive time series analysis. Secondly, we focus on the combination of 2D and 3D representations and investigations for flood and storm water management through comprehensive flood and heavy rain simulations. These examples are by no means exhaustive, but serve to demonstrate how a VA framework may apply to practical research.





visual analytics; interactive data visualization; environmental research; flood simulation; natural disaster management; climate research