Visualizing Cartograms: Goals and Task Taxonomy

Sabrina Nusrat, Stephen Kobourov

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Cartograms are maps in which areas of geographic regions (countries, states) appear in proportion to some variable of interest (population, income). Cartograms are popular visualizations for geo-referenced data that have been around for over a century. Newspapers, magazines, textbooks, blogs, and presentations frequently employ cartograms to show voting results, popularity, and in general, geographic patterns. Despite the popularity of cartograms and the large number of cartogram variants, there are very few studies evaluating the effectiveness of cartograms in conveying information. In order to design cartograms as a useful visualization tool and to be able to compare the effectiveness of cartograms generated by different methods, we need to study the nature of information conveyed and the specific tasks that can be performed on cartograms. In this paper we consider a set of cartogram visualization tasks, based on standard taxonomies from cartography and information visualization. We then propose a cartogram task taxonomy that can be used to organize not only the tasks considered here but also other tasks that might be added later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2015
Event17th Eurographics Conference on Visualization, EuroVis 2015 - Cagliari, Italy
Duration: May 25 2015May 29 2015


Conference17th Eurographics Conference on Visualization, EuroVis 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Signal Processing


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