Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences

Publication Details

Paper presented at International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications, 2017, Porto, Portugal.


Software developers can use software visualisations employing the code-map metaphor to discover and correlate facts spread over a large code base. This work presents an extensive review of the use of the code-map metaphor for software visualisation. The review analyses a set of 29 publications, which together describe 21 software development tools that use visualisations employing the code-map metaphor. The review follows a task oriented framework to guide the analysis of the literature in terms of the task, audience, target, medium, representation, and evidence dimensions based on the code-map metaphor. Although the literature indicates that software visualisations based on the code-map metaphor are perceived by the research community to be helpful across all aspects of the software develop process, the main finding of our review is that there is a lack of quantitative evidence to support this perception. Thus, the effectiveness of visualisations incorporating the code-map metaphor is still unclear. The majority of the software visualisations analysed in this study, however , do provide qualitative observations regarding their usage in various scenarios. These are summarised and presented in this review as we believe the observations can be used as motivation for future empirical evaluations.