|Visualisations for the CS AKTive Portal from The University of Southampton|
AKTive Space Visualisations: An implementation which allows a quick overview of the research being conducted in different geographic areas across the UK
Visualisations for the CS AKTive Portal fact-file
What's the Problem?
Presenting researchers with a view of the computer science landscape in the UK by geographically visualising information. This enables researchers, for example, to get a quick overview of the research being conducted in different geographic areas. This type of visualisation will be offered as part of the forthcoming CS AKTive Portal.
Towards a Solution
The Geography Visualiser was implemented to provide such a service. The service contacts the Triple Store (Knowledge Base) for information on research groups and the research areas they cover. This is matched against a known classification, for example the ACM Classification. Users initially interact with the service by requesting all research groups conducting research in a single area, multiple areas, or a combination of two or more areas. They can then further explore any information contained in the Triple Store about the highlighted research groups and organisations.
Until accurate themeing software has populated the Triple Store with the research themes researchers and institutes are tackling, this information has to be manually derived. For the current demonstration, this was completed by the Southampton AKTors using the names of research groups against the ACM Classification.
The main service is hosted by a Geography Knowledge Server (Figure 1). This server is used to dynamically construct the three HTML frames that constitute the user interface. The interface component creates the HTML to view the classification listing, alter the classification in use, and provides access to the various plugins that may be available. The map component creates an SVG map of the UK together with coordinate information about the locations of various research groups and organisations. Both of these components depend heavily on the Triple Store for all their information. Consequently, the initial operation may take several minutes and therefore a cache is employed to use previously recorded data.
Figure 1: Geography Service Architecture
The information component provides further information on any research group that may appear on the map. Users can use this to discover the researchers that work at the group and what papers they have published. This component interacts with the Triple Store and reformulates the results as HTML.
The user has the option to enable certain plug-ins (through the interface window). These are either displayed in the interface or information frames. The plugins will typically offer filtering facilities to reduce the number of research groups displayed on the map.
Try a Demonstration
At the moment this demonstration is not in the public domain.
Take a Guided Tour
An avi file (2.6MB) is available demonstrating the geography service. Alternatively, various screenshots have been provided below.Screenshots