Spatio-temporal data is often displayed using regional aggregation or heatmaps, which are useful for exploring largely distributed trends or working to unearth the cause of the more localized behavior. For individual users that live and work in the region, however, these representations are inaccessible and difficult to put into practice. We present a new technique for exploring spatiotemporal data as personal routes through a geographic area. With this technique, users are able to examine the details of a subset of event records that are contextually relevant to a trip taken through the area of consideration. Our technique can be applied to any spatiotemporal data that consists of point events, and is demonstrated through a visualization system, Safe Passage, that displays crime data from an urban area in the context of pedestrian routes that users take through the city. Several cases are used to explore the range of potential routes and the variety of crimes that occur along those routes.
At the Information Interfaces Lab, computing technologies are developed that help people take advantage of information to enrich their lives. The lab group develops ways to help people understand information via user interface design, information visualization, peripheral awareness techniques and embodied agents. The goal is to help people make better judgments by learning from all the information available to them.