GeoGraphViz: Geographically constrained 3D force-directed graph for knowledge graph visualization

Sizhe Wang, Wenwen Li, Zhining Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge graphs are a key technique for linking and integrating cross-domain data, concepts, tools, and knowledge to enable data-driven analytics. As much of the world's data have become massive in size, visualizing graph entities and their interrelationships intuitively and interactively has become a crucial task for ingesting and better utilizing graph content to support semantic reasoning, discovering hidden knowledge discovering, and better scientific understanding of geophysical and social phenomena. Despite the fact that many such phenomena (e.g., disasters) have clear spatial footprints and geographic properties, their location information is considered only as a textual label in existing graph visualization tools, limiting their capability to reveal the geospatial distribution patterns of the graph nodes. In addition, most graph visualization techniques rely on 2D graph visualization, which constrains the dimensions of information that can be presented and lacks support for graph structure examination from multiple angles. To tackle the above challenges, we developed a novel 3D map-based graph visualization algorithm to enable interactive exploration of graph content and patterns in a spatially explicit manner. The algorithm extends a 3D force directed graph by integrating a web map, an additional geolocational force, and a force balancing variable that allows for the dynamic adjustment of the 3D graph structure and layout. This mechanism helps create a balanced graph view between the semantic forces among the graph nodes and the attractive force from a geolocation to a graph node. Our solution offers a new perspective in visualizing and understanding spatial entities and events in a knowledge graph.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransactions in GIS
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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