Quantitative Measures for Cartogram Generation Techniques

Md Jawaherul Alam, Stephen G. Kobourov, Sankar Veeramoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Cartograms are used to visualize geographically distributed data by scaling the regions of a map (e.g., US states) such that their areas are proportional to some data associated with them (e.g., population). Thus the cartogram computation problem can be considered as a map deformation problem where the input is a planar polygonal map M and an assignment of some positive weight for each region. The goal is to create a deformed map M′, where the area of each region realizes the weight assigned to it (no cartographic error) while the overall map remains readable and recognizable (e.g., the topology, relative positions and shapes of the regions remain as close to those before the deformation as possible). Although several such measures of cartogram quality are well-known, different cartogram generation methods optimize different features and there is no standard set of quantitative metrics. In this paper we define such a set of seven quantitative measures, designed to evaluate how faithfully a cartogram represents the desired weights and to estimate the readability of the final representation. We then study several cartogram-generation algorithms and compare them in terms of these quantitative measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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