Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Professor

Abdelguerfi, Mahdi

Second Advisor

Ioup, Elias

Third Advisor

Hoque, Tamjidul

Fourth Advisor

Tu, Shengru


Geospatial data almost always contains some amount of uncertainty due to inaccuracies in its acquisition and transformation. While the data is commonly visualized (e.g. on digital maps), there are unanswered needs for visualizing uncertainty along with it. Most research on effectively doing this addresses uncertainty in data values at geospatial positions, e.g. water depth, human population, or land-cover classification. Uncertainty in the data’s geospatial positions themselves (positional uncertainty) has not been previously focused on in this regard. In this thesis, techniques were created for visualizing positional uncertainty using World Vector Shoreline as an example dataset. The techniques consist of a shoreline buffer zone to which visual effects such as gradients, transparency, and randomized dots were applied. They are viewed interactively via Web Map Service (WMS). In clutter testing with human subjects, a transparency-gradient technique performed the best, followed by a solid-fill technique, with a dots-density-gradient technique performing worst.


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