Google Research

IsoMatch: Creating Informative Grid Layouts

Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Eurographics), vol. 34(2) (2015) (to appear)

Abstract

Collections of objects such as images are often presented visually in a grid because it is a compact representation that lends itself well for search and exploration. Most grid layouts are sorted using very basic criteria, such as date or filename. In this work we present a method to arrange collections of objects respecting an arbitrary distance measure. Pairwise distances are preserved as much as possible, while still producing the specific target arrangement which may be a 2D grid, the surface of a sphere, a hierarchy, or any other shape. We show that our method can be used for infographics, collection exploration, summarization, data visualization, and even for solving problems such as where to seat family members at a wedding. We present a fast algorithm that can work on large collections and quantitatively evaluate how well distances are preserved.

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