Efficient Spatial Sampling of Large Geographical Tables Categories and Subject Descriptors

  • Sarma A
  • Lee H
  • Gonzalez H
 et al. 
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Large-scale map visualization systems play an increasingly important role in presenting geographic datasets to end users. Since these datasets can be extremely large, a map rendering system often needs to select a small fraction of the data to visualize them in a limited space. This paper addresses the fundamental challenge of thinning: determining appropriate samples of data to be shown on specific geographical regions and zoom levels. Other than the sheer scale of the data, the thinning problem is challenging because of a number of other reasons: (1) data can consist of complex geograph- ical shapes, (2) rendering of data needs to satisfy certain constraints, such as data being preserved across zoom levels and adjacent regions, and (3) after satisfying the constraints, an optimal solution needs to be chosen based on objectives such as maximality, fairness, and importance of data. This paper formally defines and presents a complete solu- tion to the thinning problem. First, we express the problem as an integer programming formulation that efficiently solves thinning for desired objectives. Second, we present more ef- ficient solutions for maximality, based on DFS traversal of a spatial tree. Third, we consider the common special case of point datasets, and present an even more efficient random- ized algorithm. Finally, we have implemented all techniques from this paper in Google Maps [6] visualizations of Fu- sion Tables [14], and we describe a set of experiments that demonstrate the tradeoffs among the algorithms. Categories

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  • Anish Das Sarma

  • Hongrae Lee

  • Hector Gonzalez

  • Jayant Madhavan

  • Alon Halevy

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