Tree Diagrams and Other Nice Routing Examples


Route [root, rout] noun, verb, rout·ed, rout·ing.

1. a course, way, or road for passage or travel: What’s the shortest route to Boston?
2. a customary or regular line of passage or travel: a ship on the North Atlantic route.
3. a specific itinerary, round, or number of stops regularly visited by a person in the performance of his or her work or duty: a newspaper route; a mail carrier’s route.

verb (used with object)

4. to fix the route of: to route a tour.
5. to send or forward by a particular route: to route mail to its proper destination.
In this post, I make a start with exploring the first visualisations of the toolbox. The aim is to create something that gives a quick and clear overview, but also gives the user the opportunity to easily make a selection based on their project needs. More detailed information can be added through augmented reality such as Layar.


  • There is quite a lot of information that can be grasped right away: the further to the outside of the tree, the newer
  • The family origin of any specific item is easy to see
  • If followed like a determination table, there are too many choices at each point, and the decision moments are not clear
  • Visually pleasing due to fractal-like structure

determinatietabel bomen

  • The colours of the route signify where you are in the process
  • Arrows show the direction of the next question
  • If you recognize the tree immediately, you can skip the questions and go straight to the corresponding picture
  • It is not really clear where to start
  • The visual language is quite childish, does not really inspire credibility

vogels zoekkaart

  • The birds take center stage; the routing is secondary
  • It is clear where to start
  • It would have been nice if the relative size of the pictures would have been somewhat correct

Chemicals for Karl Fischer Water Determination

  • It is really clear where to start and how to proceed for left-to-right readers
  • Visualises which outcomes are related to each other and how, like a family tree


  • Useful structure when there are more than two options at each decision point
  • Able to determine familiarity of linked methods
  • Fractal-like structure is easy on the eye
  • Clean lines, no text or pictures, provide a calm image. How to keep this, but add more information?
  • In this exact shape, methods that can be used in one group as well as another, must be duplicated


  • Multiple connections between nodes possible
  • No easily discernible route
  • Looks complicated, but the user group is technical-minded.

Added May 31, 2013:

  • Atlas-style visual
  • Routing can be quite literal, represented by pathways
  • Nice link to anthropology, exploring unknown territory
  • There can be an accompanying ‘guidebook’ that shows where to start and what ‘mountains’ are nicest to ‘climb’

I will expand this section after I reread some of my books on data visualization. I will also run these images and ideas by the companies that will use the toolbox, to see if my concerns are on point.


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