Managing Spatial Selections With Contextual Snapshots



Spatial selections are a ubiquitous concept in visualization. By localizing particular features, they can be analysed and compared in different views. However, the semantics of such selections often depend on specific parameter settings and it can be difficult to reconstruct them without additional information. In this paper, we present the concept of contextual snapshots as an effective means for managing spatial selections in visualized data. The selections are automatically associated with the context in which they have been created. Contextual snapshots can also be used as the basis for interactive integrated and linked views, which enable in-place investigation and comparison of multiple visual representations of data. Our approach is implemented as a flexible toolkit with well-defined interfaces for integration into existing systems. We demonstrate the power and generality of our techniques by applying them to several distinct scenarios such as the visualization of simulation data, the analysis of historical documents and the display of anatomical data.