I am Daniel and attended the seminar R+OSGeo in summer 2009 held by Tomislav Hengl (University of Amsterdam), Victor Olaya Ferrero (University of Plasencia) and Edzer J. Pebesma (University of Münster).

On this site I present the final project of the course.



Flow maps are well-known within the cartographic community to represent movement of material or abstract things (migration of people, traded goods). The encoded information comprises strength, direction and course of the flow between locations. These locations are often a pair of coordinates. Albeit their powerful ability to remove visual clutter from these often very complicated patterns, there are no advanced automatic algorithms for flow maps found in professional GIS software. The most "beautiful" examples remain hand-crafted, like the mother(s) of all flow maps by Minard.

Because of that lack of good flow map tools I decided to try to transfer the implementation of a visually nice flow map software, Flow Map Layout by D. Phan, to the free SEXTANTE geospatial algorithm library.

Unfortunately I had to stop the project before I could completely integrate the algorithm. Please feel free to play around with my code or contribute more flow algorithms to the project! I hope to find time in the future to continue the work. Do also not hesitate to contact me (see details below) with your ideas and comments.

The project report can be downloaded as a PDF under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. It contains some background on flow maps, a description of the implemented features, problems and limitations as well as hints at future work.
Code and Installation

You can access the Eclipse project "flowTools" in the following public Subversion repository: http://svn.xp-dev.com/svn/FlowTools/. You can download an initial version (might be outdated!) of the project folder as a zip file.

Installation Procedure

  • Follow the instructions in SEXTANTE Programming Guide section "Setting up Eclipse to work with SEXTANTE and gvSIG".
  • Import the flowTools project folder to your workspace (checkout via Subversion or import zip file in Eclipse).
  • Adjust the following properties in the ant buildfile to your needs: extensions-dir, gvSIG-lib-dir.
  • Run the build file, start gvSIG and try out the algorithms with the provided dummy data (ms-dummy-dest2.shp for destinations and ms-dummy-src.shp for source of the flow).

FlowTools for SEXTANTE is licensed under a GPLv2 license. This also applies to the libraries used within the project.

About me

I am a student in Geoinformatics with the Institute for Geoinformatics ifgi at the University of Muenster. Please see my profile page for contact details or contact me directly via .