University of Konstanz
Graduiertenkolleg / PhD Program
Computer and Information Science

Joachim Böttger

Doctoral Student in the PhD program from July 01, 2004 to November 30, 2009.
Currently PostDoc at the Department of Neurosurgery of Charité in Berlin.


1. Prof. Dr. Oliver Deussen
2. Prof. Dr. Daniel Keim

organisational data

E-mail: joachim @
Other Resources:

project description

Visualization of Orders of Magnitude

Exploring data is a challenge, if it contains lots of details that are very small in respect to the size of the whole dataset. One example for such data is information about the surface of the earth: While the whole planet spans several thousands of kilometers, details like trees and houses are several orders of magnitude smaller.

The traditional technique to explore such large information spaces is to zoom in on the details, however, the information about their context is then lost. Another possibility is to show the details in their context: Several solutions exist, which magnify the details the viewer is interested in, while simultaneously shrinking the surrounding parts of the data. Most of these techniques, however, suffer from introducing distortions such as compression or shear in parts of the resulting images, and hence make details in these areas hard to recognize.

On the other hand analytic complex mappings, which are well known from cartography, leave the details in an image locally undistorted while often scaling different parts of the data very differently. One of these mappings, the complex logarithm, is approximately employed in the mapping from the retina to the visual cortex in the brain. The same method allows for showing in one seamless visualization individual houses in the context of the continents that they are built on. Disadvantages are that the mapping introduces a cut in the data, and rotates parts of the image in ways that we are not used to.

One open question is how interaction can help users to explore data with mappings like the complex logarithm. Another interesting field of research is the use of such mappings for data with more dimensions. The resulting techniques will be useful for objects other than satellite data like maps, electron microscopy data, computer chips, and biological objects as well as for abstract data like filesystems, electronic circuits, and various graphs.


The following list of publications covers only those, which are or were published during participation at the Graduiertenkolleg / PhD program.

Articles in Journals


Conference Papers


Phd Theses

  • Böttger, J., Complex-Logarithmic Views and Map Warping, University of Konstanz, December 2011. Link

curriculum vitae

1996 - 2003 Studies of Computational Visualistics at the Otto-von-Guerike University of Magdeburg, Germany. 
Degree : Graduate Engineer.
Internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, in the House_n-project.
1994 - 1996 Civil Service.
1985 - 1994 Highschool in Oberhaching, Germany.