AGILE 2015 pp 269-287 | Cite as

Labeling Streets Along a Route in Interactive 3D Maps Using Billboards

  • Nadine SchwartgesEmail author
  • Benjamin Morgan
  • Jan-Henrik Haunert
  • Alexander Wolff
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


We consider the problem of labeling linear objects, such as streets, in interactive 3D maps, where the user can continuously pan, zoom, and rotate a perspective view of the scene. We dynamically annotate streets that belong to a user’s route, assuming that the future course of the route, within the currently visible part of the map, is known or well predicted. We use billboards as annotations, that is, each label is a rectangle holding the annotation text, is oriented towards the user, placed at some distance above the midpoint of the street to be labeled, and connected to the point by a vertical line segment, the leader. Our goal is to maintain an overlap-free labeling that reacts to changes of the view in real time. To this end, we dynamically vary the lengths of the leaders. In order to achieve that labels move smoothly, we do not strictly forbid label–label overlaps. We present a force-directed algorithm that applies forces to labels to cause overlapping labels to repel each other, while keeping leaders as close to their desired length as possible. On real-world data, with a realistic number of labels, we obtain frame rates of more than 400 frames per second, while drastically reducing the total overlapped area per frame, compared to an algorithm with fixed leader lengths.


Dynamic maps Interactive maps Map labeling Street labeling Billboards 


  1. Eades, P. (1984). A heuristic for graph drawing. Congressus Numerantium, 42, 149–160.Google Scholar
  2. Gemsa, A., Niedermann, B. & Nöllenburg, M. (2013). Trajectory-based dynamic map labeling. In L. Cai, S. W. Cheng & T. W. Lam (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC’13), Springer, LNCS, Vol. 8283, pp 413–423.Google Scholar
  3. Imhof, E. (1975). Positioning names on maps. The American Cartographer, 2(2), 128–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Larson, K., van Dantzich, M., Czerwinski, M. & Robertson, G. (2000). Text in 3D: Some legibility results. In J. Begole (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’00), pp 145–146.Google Scholar
  5. Maass, S. & Döllner, J. (2006). Efficient view management for dynamic annotation placement in virtual landscapes. In A. Butz, B. Fischer, A. Krüger, P. Oliver (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Smart Graphics (SG’06), Springer, LNCS, Vol. 4073, pp 1–12.Google Scholar
  6. Maass, S., Jobst, M., & Döllner, J. (2007). Depth cue of occlusion information as criterion for the quality of annotation placement in perspective views. In S. I. Fabrikant & M. Wachowicz (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th AGILE Conference, pp. 473–486, Lecture Notes in GeoInformation and Cartography, Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Schwartges, N., Wolff, A. & Haunert, J. H. (2014). Labeling streets in interactive maps using embedded labels. In Proceedings of 22nd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM-GIS’14), pp. 517–520.Google Scholar
  8. Vaaraniemi, M., Treib, M. & Westermann, R. (2012). Temporally coherent real-time labeling of dynamic scenes. In Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Computing for Geospatial Research Application (COM.Geo’12), ACM, pp. 17:1–17:10.Google Scholar
  9. Wigdor, D. & Balakrishnan, R. (2005). Empirical investigation into the effect of orientation on text readability in tabletop displays. In H. Gellersen et al. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW’05), Springer, pp 205–224.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Schwartges
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin Morgan
    • 1
  • Jan-Henrik Haunert
    • 2
  • Alexander Wolff
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Informatik IUniversität WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Geoinformatik und FernerkundungUniversität OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

Personalised recommendations