Rectangular cartogram visualization interface for social networks

Shun Yu Jhong, Chun-Cheng Lin*, Wan Yu Liu, Weidong Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

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

2 Scopus citations


Social networks link people together, among which a lot of factors influences their complexity. To our understanding, so far most visualization interfaces for social networks have not reflected any of their factors. Therefore, this paper tries to solve such a problem by rectangular cartograms, which is a kind of geographical visualization interface using rectnaguls to represent regions in a map. Besides the relative position of each rectangle can reflect the actual geographical related positions, one of the main feastures of rectangular cartograms is that the area size or the shape of each rectangle can reflect the information of its corresponding region, e.g., the population in that region. This paper proposes a layout approaph for rectangular cartograms with area labeling for social networks, in which each region has a minimum-width constraint for accommodating a text label. As a result, this paper applies a genetic algorithm to finding the area-labeling rectangular cartogram with minimum width under some constraints to meet the practical use in social networks. By doing so, we can visualize the labeling text on each rectangle and observe the information represented by its area size or shape at the same time. Furthermore, the proposed approach is applied to visualizing the distribution of the Facebook popularity of an enterprise in Taiwan. From the cartogram, the text label on each region can be read directly and the relation among regions as well as the popularity can be visualized, so that the enterprise can improve the regisons with poor popularity by the help from the regions with high popularity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity-Enriched Urban Computing and Smart Grid - Second International Conference, SUComS 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2011
Event2nd International Conference on the Emerging Areas of Security-Enriched Urban Computing and Smart Grids, SUComS 2011 - Hualien, Taiwan
Duration: 21 Sep 201123 Sep 2011

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume223 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


Conference2nd International Conference on the Emerging Areas of Security-Enriched Urban Computing and Smart Grids, SUComS 2011


  • Rectangular cartogram
  • area labeling
  • map labeling
  • social network


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