Innovations in Visualization

Visits: A Spatiotemporal Visualization of Location Histories

Alice Thudt
Dominikus Baur
Sheelagh Carpendale


Location histories are rapidly becoming easily collectable and offer new opportunities for personal reminiscing. However, while location history data contains both temporal and location information, maps provide the location content while downplaying temporal aspects and timelines focus on the temporal sequence, minimizing the spatial aspects. In contrast, autobiographical memories incorporate both time and location. To address this gap, we present Visits, a visualization system that puts time and location on equal footing. Our hybrid visualization technique, map-timelines, shows location histories as a sequence of visited places represented as map segments on a timeline. This shows the chronological order and the duration of stays, reveals repeated visits of the same place and preserves the fine-grained location information of the underlying data. We demonstrate a possible use of Visits for both main types of location histories, long-term lifelogging data and short-term travel logs.



Watch at vimeo

EuroVis Video: download Δ mov (40MB)


Alice Thudt, Dominikus Baur and Sheelagh Carpendale. Visits: A Spatiotemporal Visualization of Location Histories. Earned EuroVis 2013 Best Short Paper Award, 2013. PDF Paper

Project Website:

External project page with prototype and additional material