For my thesis I want to visualize node-link graph in form of a Web GIS. The graphs consist of up to 30.000 nodes and edges. I am new to GIS, completely overwhelmed by the tools and techniques and do not know how to progress.

What I already have:

  • Plane coordinates X,Y for points (represent the nodes of the graph) and lines/streets (represent the edges of the graph)
  • X, Y coordinates of polygons as "countries" (represent the clusters of the nodes)
  • Layer level Z for all elements (should indicate which elements will be shown at which zoom level)

What I want to achieve:

  • Responsive slippy map (similar to http://gmap.cs.arizona.edu/map/9895/) but with highlight and search functionality
  • Also (and most important) the map should realize a kind of "map generalization" (Show in the layers only elements with a certain zoom value Z or lower)

I am able to create one big SVG or GeoJSON from my data. My plan is to use this files to create tiles (or even vector tiles?) that I want to visualize via tools like Leaflet or OpenLayer.


  • How can I create tiles for the different layers from my data?

  • Exist better approaches to achieve my goal?

Any recommendation of appropriate literature or tutorials is also welcome.

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