work in progress

  • Co-creator: Lennart Hildebrandt
  • Supervised by: Till Nagel, Marian Dörk, Boris Müller
  • My tasks: Research, Conception, User Tests, Screen Design, Paper Writing
  • Project website:
  • Year: 2014–now

Sneak peak! – This is a preview. At the moment Shifted Maps is still work in progress. It is a student research project at the Urban Complexity Lab, which is part of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences.

We just presented Shifted Maps at the IEEE VIS conference. Please visit our project side for an interactive prototpye, the presented paper and the poster!

Are there networks in maps? Shifted Maps visualizes personal movement data as a network of map extracts showing visited places. The geographic map dissolves and creates a flexible network layout, which reveals unique movement structures based on geographic positions, travel time or travel frequency.

Network structures of visited places and trips between them


The basic elements of the visualization are round map parts, which display the visited places, as well as the total amount of time (surface area) and the amount of visits (thickness of the contour) spend there. They are connected with straight lines. Thicker lines indicate routes that have been taken more frequently than thinner lines.

Three viewing modes

Shifted Maps combines map and network in a unique way. As a result the network can be arrangend in different layouts while keeping a geographic reference to the places through the map extracts. The visualization reveals different movement patterns in three arrangements based on the travel distance, travel time or travel frequency.

Distance view, default map view and time view

Exploratory design process

During the design process we did a range of visual experiments to explore potentials and limits of modulated maps.

methods: distortion, collages

forms: rectangles, squares, circles, free forms

filters: different kinds of blurring and pixelation

map styles: variations using map box studio

types of media: printed map, digital map

Map experiments: distortion and collages, map styles and first prototype

User Experience Design & Data Visualization

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