Descartes (formerly IRIS): A Tool to Support Visual Analysis of
Spatially Referenced Data in the Internet
Spatially referenced data are various statistical data (on demography,
economy, education, culture, history, etc.) referring to geographical
objects or locations (countries, regions, cities). Analysis of such data
is impossible without representing them on maps.
Descartes is designed to help in exploratory analysis of spatially
referenced data. For this purpose it offers two main instruments:
* Automated visualization (presentation of data on maps);
* Interactive manipulation of the created maps that makes them more
expressive and helps notice important data features.
To provide the automated visualization, Descartes incorporates the
knowledge on thematic cartography in the form of generic,
domain-independent rules. To choose the adequate presentation techniques
for given data, Descartes takes into account data characteristics (types
of fields: numeric, categorical, logical; number of different values or
value range for a field) and relations among data components (whether
the fields to be analyzed are comparable, whether they can be summed to
produce some meaningful total, whether some of the fields is included
into another). The automation of map generation releases the user from
the necessity to think how to present her/his data and from the routine
work on map building and allows her/him to concentrate on data analysis.
The system is implemented as Java applet, it is available with various
examples at the URL http://allanon.gmd.de/and/java/iris/. The system was
included into Top 1% web applets and Top 10 web applets lists (September
1996) by Java Applet Rating Service.
You may have a closer look at the system and talk to a representative of
the GMD Spin-Off Dialogis that markets Descartes (Iris) at the CeBIT
fair in Hannover (March 19th until 25th, Hall 022, Booth Nr. B10, you
may call +49-171-2883036 to make an appointment).
Natalia and Gennady
P.S. On Monday, 23.03.1998, at CeBIT'98, you may contact one of the
authors of the system. Please use e-mail to make an appointment.
Drs. Natalia and Gennady Andrienko
GMD - German National Research Center for Information Technology
SET.KI - Research Division Artificial Intelligence
Schloss Birlinghoven, Sankt-Augustin, D-53754 Germany
tel +49-2241-142329, fax +49-2241-142072