Swarm-Based Edge Bundling Applied to Flow Mapping

  • Evgheni PolisciucEmail author
  • Penousal Machado
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 693)


Applying flow maps in large datasets involves dealing with the reduction of visual cluttering. Nowadays, a technique known as edge bundling, which is geometric in nature, is often applied to reduce visual clutter and create meaningful traces that highlight the main streams of flow. This article presents an alternative approach of edge bundling for generating flow maps. Our approach uses a swarm-based system to reduce visual clutter, bundling edges in an organic fashion and improving clarity. The method takes into account the properties of data, edges and nodes, to bundle edges in a meaningful way while tracing lines that do not interfere visually with the nodes. Additionally, the Dorling cartograms technique is applied to reduce overlapping of graphical elements that render locations in geographic space. The method is demonstrated with application in the analysis of the US migration flow and transportation of products among warehouses and supermarkets of a major retail company in Portugal.


Flow map Edge bundling Origin-destination map Thematic map Flow visualization Geovisualization 



We would like to thank Catarina Maçãs, Hugo Amaro, Filipe Assunção, Antnio Cruz and Pedro Cruz for their contributions to this work. This project is partially funded by sonae: Sonae Viz – Big Data Visualization for retail, and by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, under the grant SFRH/BD/ 109745/2015.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CISUC, Department of Informatics EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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