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This paper represents the rst eeort to apply direct manipulation VISS tech niques to spatial data exploration providing mechanisms for visually querying as well as browsing spatial data and for reviewing the visual results for trend discoveryr We present a visual query language SVIQUELS which allows us to specify the relative spatial position both topology and directionS between objects using direct manipulation of spatial query ltersr The SVIQUEL slid ers S slidersS are complimented by an Active Picture for Querying APIQS providing qualitative visual representations of the quantitative query speci ed by the S slidersr This increases the utility of the system for spatial browsing and spatial trend discovery with no particular query in mindr The tight cou pling between the quantitative S sliders and qualitative APIQ allows the users to work either qualitatively or quantitatively depending on hissher particular needs and freely switch between the two while working in a continuous data exploration moder