Section: Software

Portolan (Model-Driven Cartography)

URL: http://code.google.com/a/eclipselabs.org/p/portolan/

Processing large amounts of data to extract useful information is an essential task within companies. To help in this task, visualization techniques have been commonly used due to their capacity to present data in synthesized views, easier to understand and manage. However, achieving the right visualization display for a data set is a complex cartography process that involves several transformation steps to adapt the (domain) data to the (visualization) data format expected by visualization tools. With its simple core principles and set of base generic techniques (metamodeling, model transformation, model weaving, etc), Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) provides the relevant support for bridging the gap between data sets and visualization tools and thus for designing and implementing Cartography solutions. The proposed Portolan prototype is a concrete illustration of both a model-based and model-driven Cartography platform. Thus, the objective of Portolan is to facilitate the identification of interoperability solutions between tools by:

  1. discovering (at least semi-automatically) maps of given situations in terms of deployed tools and relationships between them;

  2. easily navigating and editing these maps;

  3. augmenting or specializing them with both manually-entered and computed information;

  4. visualizing them, using different customizable ways, in order to facilitate their understanding.

To this aim, the Portolan platform integrates:

  • a set of default DSLs like GraphML, KML, Excel;

  • visual displays based on Prefuse, Google Maps;

  • modeling tools such as ATL language, Ecore modeler, etc.

It includes also an extension mechanism allowing the tool customization for advanced users. This recently developed generic tooling for cartography has already been used during the first action of our collaboration with BNP Paribas, as well as in the context of the IDM++ project.