Multiscale Visualization: A Structured Literature Analysis

Eren Cakmak, Dominik Jackle, Tobias Schreck, Daniel A. Keim, Johannes Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiscale visualizations are typically used to analyze multiscale processes and data in various application domains, such as the visual exploration of hierarchical genome structures in molecular biology. However, creating such multiscale visualizations remains challenging due to the plethora of existing work and the expression ambiguity in visualization research. Up to today, there has been little work to compare and categorize multiscale visualizations to understand their design practices. In this work, we present a structured literature analysis to provide an overview of common design practices in multiscale visualization research. We systematically reviewed and categorized 122 published journal or conference papers between 1995 and 2020. We organized the reviewed papers in a taxonomy that reveals common design factors. Researchers and practitioners can use our taxonomy to explore existing work to create new multiscale navigation and visualization techniques. Based on the reviewed papers, we examine research trends and highlight open research challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • Data visualization
  • Encoding
  • Libraries
  • Literature Analysis
  • Molecular biology
  • Multiscale Exploration
  • Multiscale Navigation
  • Multiscale Visualization
  • Navigation
  • Survey
  • Taxonomy
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

Cite this