StreetExplorer: Visual Exploration of Feature-based Patterns in Urban Street Networks

Lin Shao, S. Mittelstadt, R. Goldblatt, I. Omer, P. Bak, T. Schreck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The analysis of street networks is an important problem in applications like city planning, comparison of urban street properties, or transportation network analysis. Graph-theoretic computation schemes today provide street network analysts with a range of topological features relating e.g., to connectivity properties of street networks. Typically, an abundance of different network features is available, and some or all of these features may be relevant for within- and between comparison tasks at different scales across the network. Therefore, it is desirable to interactively explore the large segment feature space, with the goal of finding interesting patterns based on extracted features, taking into account also the geospatial properties of a given network. We introduce StreetExplorer, an interactive visualization system for the exploration of global and local properties of urban street networks. The system is based on a set of appropriate similarity functions, which take into account both topological and geometric features of a street network. Together with a set of suitable interaction functions that allow the selection of portions of a given street network, we support the analysis and comparison of street network properties between and across features and areas. We enhance the visual comparison of street network patterns by a suitable color-mapping and boosting scheme to visualize both the similarity between street network portions as well as the distribution of network features on the segment level. Together with experts from the urban morphology analysis domain, we apply our approach to analyze and compare two urban street networks, identifying patterns of historic development and modern planning approaches, demonstrating the usefulness of StreetExplorer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications - 11th International Joint Conference, VISIGRAPP 2016
Place of PublicationSetubal, Portugal
PublisherINSTICC Press
Pages86 - 97
ISBN (Print)9789897581755
StatePublished - 2016
EventVISIGRAPP 2016 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 27 Feb 201629 Feb 2016


ConferenceVISIGRAPP 2016
Abbreviated titleIVAPP


  • data visualisation
  • geographic information systems
  • geometry
  • graph theory
  • graphical user interfaces
  • interactive systems
  • town and country planning


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