Geovisualization of Social Events for Casual Exploration

The amount of geographical data on web is on the rise. While this growth opens new paths for designers and developers to form new geographical visualizations, it also creates new design and visualization research questions.

Some of the questions we focus in this research project are:

How could we define a user oriented approach in data visualization in order to specify user needs, construct an information architecture, design interface and visualization?

What are the user driven information requirements and design implications for citizens to interact with urban data about events in a city?

How could we visualize geographical data to support everyday decision making?

As an effort to answer these research questions, we examine how user-centered design methods can contribute creating new tools for casual exploration of geodata, by designing a data-intensive geovisualization about urban social events.

Here is our latest version of the working prototype (WIP):

Feedback is welcome. Contact us to learn more or to participate.

Damla Çay

Keywords: Geographical Information Visualization, Volunteered Geographical Information, event-maps, spatio-temporal data, interaction, visualization, design ethnography
Team: Damla Çay, Sinem Şemsioğlu, Hüseyin Kuşçu, Ersel Gülyaz, Semra Gülce Turan

Advisors: Asım Evren Yantaç, Till Nagel

Contributors: Özge Genç, Beste Özdeşlik, Öykü Çetin, Ayşe Özer, Eren Güleç, Zeynep Dilmin Güden, İdil Bostan, Yağmur Akın Karaköz, Cansu Sayıcı, Esmanur Bayar, Aylin Oral, Nice Uysal, Çağla Yılankaya, Esra Ayhan
Publishing: Genç, Ö., Çay, D., & Yantaç, A. E. (2015). Participatory Explorations on a Location Based Urban Information System. In Design, User Experience, and Usability: Interactive Experience Design (pp. 357-367). Springer International Publishing.

Çay, D., & Yantaç, A. E. (2016, July). Learning from the Users for Spatio-Temporal Data Visualization Explorations on Social Events. In International Conference of Design, User Experience, and Usability (pp. 124-135). Springer International Publishing.
ISO 690

User Research 80%
Ideation 80%
Prototyping 70%


1. Preliminary Research

During the first week of the program, in order to get to know each other, you will be expected to make a brief introductory presentation including your background and the studies you’ve done so far. We will present our studies and our work environment as well.

task 1: Spatio-Temporal Data Visualization Literature Review

In this task, we will introduce you to our archive of works in the field. And you are expected to find new works from both literature and the field and expand our archive. You are also encouraged to improve our archiving method.

2. Ideation & Design

task 1: Spatio-temporal Visualization Design

task 2: User Interface Design

3. Prototype

task 1: Prototyping 

We are mainly using HTML and JavaScript, we occasionally use third party libraries for some components and Google Maps API.

4. Evaluation

task 1: Proof of Concept Evaluation

task 2: Usability Study

task 3: Multi-dimensional In-depth Long-term case Study


August 2018

Ersel Gülyaz joined the development team!

Here is our prototypes to be tested:

April 2017

Our first prototype is in design and development process. We are collaborating with Sinem Şemsioğlu, Gülce Turan and Hüseyin Kuşçu for development.