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Dynamics in urban environments encompasses complex processes and phenomena such as related to movement (e.g.,traffic, people) and development (e.g., construction, settlement).
This paper presents novel methods for creating human-centric illustrative maps for visualizing the movement dynamics in virtual 3D environments. The methods allow a viewer to gain rapid insight into traffic density and flow. The illustrative maps represent vehicle behavior as light threads. Light threads are a familiar visual metaphor caused by moving light sources producing streaks in a long-exposure photograph. A vehicle’s front and rear lights produce light threads that convey its direction of motion as well as its velocity and acceleration. The accumulation of light threads allows a viewer to quickly perceive traffic flow and density. The light-thread technique is a key
element to effective visualization systems for analytic reasoning, exploration, and monitoring of geospatial processes.