The United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. The agenda consists of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the 2015–2030 period. To pertain these SDGs, 169 targets have been set. To measure these 169 targets, 230 indicators have been developed. UN member states are required to produce reports on their progress of SDG implementation at various stages between 2015 and 2030. One of the key scientific issues identified by researchers is to develop effective approaches to visualizing the status and trends in SDG indicators and to communicate the result to policy makers and other end users. Addressing these challenges, this paper therefore describes the functional requirements for the dynamic and multi-dimensional visualization of SDG indicators. Firstly, the graphic representation requirements are discussed. In this discussion, a “where-when-what” system is described to categorize SDG indicators into nine scenarios and then the graphic representation requirements for visualizing these scenarios are identified. The effectiveness of the different sets of representational variables for such graphics is examined. Secondly, it is argued that some analysis capacity is required, and the set consisting of “identify”, “compare”, “rank”, “associate” and “delineate” is recommended. It is also suggested that such analysis functions can be implemented in simple query forms and graphic requirements for the query results are examined. It is anticipated that these function forms a framework for the dynamic visualization of SDG indicators.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Anderson K, Ryan B, Sonntag W, Kavvada A, Friedl L (2017) Earth observation in service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Geo-spatial Inform Sci 20(2):1–20
Bertin J, 1974. Graphische Semiologie, Diagramme, Netze, Karte. Berlin etc.: Walter de Gruyter. The work was originally published in the French language as: Sémiologie graphique (1967)
Choi J, Hwang M, Kim G, Seong J, Jaeseong Ahn J (2016) Supporting the measurement of the United Nations’ sustainable development goal 11 through the use of national urban information systems and open geospatial technologies: a case study of south Korea. Open Geospatial Data, Softw Stand 1:4
DiBiase D, MacEachren AM, Krygier JB, Reeves C (1992) Animation and the role of map design in scientific visualization. Cartography and Geographic Information Systems 19(4):201–214
GEO 2016. Earth observations in service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. https://www.earthobservations.org/activity.php?id=52. ()
Gong XY 2019. SDG Viz: a web-based system for visualizing sustainable development indicators. Proceedings of the 29th international cartographic conference (ICC2019), 2, 39, https://doi.org/10.5194/ica-proc-2-39-2019
Hak T, Janousková S, Moldan B (2016) Sustainable development goals: a need for relevant indicators. Ecol Indic 60:565–573
Han R, Li ZL, Ti P, Xu Z (2017) Experimental evaluation of the usability of cartogram for representation of GlobeLand30 Data. ISPRS Int J Geo Inf 6(6):180. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6060180
IAEG-SDGs, 2016. Report of the inter-agency and expert group on sustainable development goal indicators. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/47th-session/documents/2016-2-SDGs-Rev1-E.pdf. ()
Kraak MJ, Ricker B, Engelhardt Y (2018) Challenges of mapping sustainable development goals indicators data. ISPRS Int J Geo Inf 7(12):482. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7120482
Li Z, Kraak MJ 2002. WEB - based exploratory data analysis (WEB – EDA): visualisation meets spatial analysis. Proceedings of ISPRS Commission II Symposium (WG II/6), Xi’an, August 20-23. 281-285
MacEachren AM 1994, Visualization in modern cartography: setting the agenda. In: A.M. MacEachren & D.R. Fraser Taylor (eds), Visualization in modern cartography., Volume 2. Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd., pp. 1-12
Nilsson M 2017., Important interactions among the sustainable development goals under review at the high-level political forum 2017. Stockholm Environment Institute
Peuquet DJ (1994) It’s about time: a conceptual framework for the representation of temporal dynamics in geographic information systems. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 84(3):441–461
Pinterest, 2017. Explore map design, cartography, and more! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/447545281695447237/ (last access on 10 Sept 2017)
Pirani N., Ricker, B. and Kraak MJ., 2019. Alternate thematic maps to visualize United Nations Sustainable Development Goal indicator data. Proceedings of the 29th International Cartographic Conference (ICC2019), 2, 101. https://doi.org/10.5194/ica-proc-2-101-2019
Qiu Y, Zhao X, Fan D, Li S (2019) Geospatial disaggregation of population data in supporting SDG assessments: a case study from Deqing County, China. ISPRS Int J Geo Inf 8(8):356. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080356
Rickels W, Dovern J, Hoffmann J, Quaas MF, Schmidt JO, Visbeck M (2016) Indicators for monitoring sustainable development goals: an application to oceanic development in the European Union. Earth’s Future 4:252–267
Robinson AH, Morrison JL, Muehrcke PC, Kimerling AJ, Guptill SC (1995) Elements of cartography. John Wiley & Sons. Inc., New York
Roth RE (2013) An empirically-derived taxonomy of interaction primitives for interactive cartography and geovisualization. IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph 19(12):2356–2365
Schmalzbauer B, Visbeck M (eds) (2016) The contribution of science in implementing the sustainable development goals. German Committee Future Earth, Stuttgart/Kiel
STATCOM, 2015. Sustainable development goal indicators. http://unstats.un.org/sdgs/. ()
Ulbrich P, de Albuquerque J, Coaffee J (2019) The impact of urban inequalities on monitoring progress towards the sustainable development goals: methodological considerations. ISPRS Int J Geo Inf 8(1):6. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8010006
UN, 2015. Sustainable development goals: 17 goals to transform our world. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/ ()
UN, 2016. UN Statistical Commission agrees on global indicator framework. http://www.un.org/ sustainabledevelopment/blog/2016/03/un-statistical-commission-endorses-global-indicator-framework/ (last accessed on 20 Aug 2017)
Wu H, Zheng X 2016. Report of international workshop on “Analysis and Application of Global Land Cover Information”. http://www.isprs.org/news/newsletter/2016-04/52_Report-of-International-Workshop-on-Analysis-and-Application-of-Global-Land-Cover-Information.pdf ()
Van den Homberg M, Susha I (2018) Characterizing Data Ecosystems to Support Official Statistics with Open Mapping Data for Reporting on Sustainable Development Goals. ISPRS Int J Geo Inf 7(12):456. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7120456
This paper is supported by a NSFC grant (41930104), a project funded by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (G-YBSU), and the ISPRS Scientific Initiatives project on GlobeLand30 data for monitoring UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This paper does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Zhilin, L., Gong, X., Chen, J. et al. Functional Requirements of Systems for Visualization of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators. J geovis spat anal 4, 5 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41651-019-0046-x
- Functional requirements
- Sustainable development goals
- Graphic representation
- Dynamic maps
- Analysis capacity