We present GoTree, a declarative grammar allowing users to instantiate tree visualizations by specifying three aspects: visual elements, layout, and coordinate system. Within the set of all possible tree visualization techniques, we identify a subset of techniques that are both “unit-decomposable” and “axis-decomposable” (terms we define). For tree visualizations within this subset, GoTree gives the user flexible and fine-grained control over the parameters of the techniques, supporting both explicit and implicit tree visualizations. We developed Tree Illustrator, an interactive authoring tool based on GoTree grammar. Tree Illustrator allows users to create a considerable number of tree visualizations, including not only existing techniques but also undiscovered and hybrid visualizations. We demonstrate the expressiveness and generative power of GoTree with a gallery of examples and conduct a qualitative study to validate the usability of Tree Illustrator.
This work is supported by NSFC No. 61672055 and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016QY02D0304), as well as PKU-Qihoo Joint Data Visual Analytics Research Center.