Multiscale and Multivariate Transportation System Visualization for Shopping District Traffic and Regional Traffic

Anne Berres, Tim LaClair, Chieh Wang, Haowen Xu, Srinath Ravulaparthy, Austin Todd, Sarah Tennille, Jibonananda Sanyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


In this paper, we present a suite of visualization techniques for sensor-based transportation system data at different scales to facilitate the exploration of interconnected traffic dynamics at intersections and highways. These techniques are designed for analyzing multivariate traffic data from radar-based highway sensors and camera-based intersection sensors recording turn movements and vehicle speed, in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Area, with the capability of (a) revealing multiscale mobility patterns using different levels of data aggregation (e.g., individual sensor for microscale, multiple sensors along a corridor for mesoscale, and a larger number of sensors across the region for macroscale visualization) at different intervals (e.g., 5-min intervals, time of day, full day, and day-of-the-week), and (b) exploring the spatial variation of multiple traffic-related variables (e.g., volumes, speeds, turn movements, and traffic light colors) provided by the sensors. We close with a case study to demonstrate the effectiveness of our multiscale and multivariate visualization techniques. At microscale, we focused on intersection data from a shopping district around Shallowford Road in East Chattanooga. For mesoscale visualization, we studied the Shallowford Road corridor and an adjacent stretch of I-75. At macroscale, we included highway data from the Chattanooga Metropolitan Area. All visualizations were integrated into a web-based situational awareness tool to promote user access and interaction. At a minimum, each visualization provides the option for selecting dates for real-time (depending on sensor availability) and historical data, and additional information on hovering, though most provide more detailed information, including different views of the selected data, or interactive highlights.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-37
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-80830


  • metropolitan area
  • mobility pattern
  • multiple traffics
  • multivariate visualization
  • situational awareness
  • spatial variations
  • transportation system
  • visualization technique


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