Published on March 3, 2014
Maps, how do users see them? An in depth investigation of the map users’ cognitive processes Kristien Ooms Department of Geography – Ghent University
Maps, how do users see them? Improve the effectiveness of (screen) map designs based on the users’ characteristics. Purpose of maps Communication After Kolácný (1969)
Maps, how do users see them? Contribute to the understanding of how map users read, interpret, store, and use the presented visual information on screen maps. Understand Attention Influence Read Interpret Store Retrieve Improve design Use
Maps, how do users see them? Contribute to the understanding of how map users read, interpret, store, and use the presented visual information on screen maps. After van Elzakker and Wealands (2007)
Maps, how do users see them? Investigate the influence of (cartographic) expertise on the map users’ cognitive processes and their limitations while processing the visual information presented on screen maps. After Kolácný (1969) After van Elzakker and Wealands (2007)
Maps, how do users see them? • Research Questions 1. How do map users read and interpret the visual information presented on screen maps? 2. How do map users store and retrieve (use) the information that was previously gathered from screen maps? 3. How are the map users’ cognitive processes influenced by deviations in the map image? 4. How does (cartographic) expertise influence the cognitive processes investigated in the previous research questions?
Maps, how do users see them? Ch 1: Introduction Ch 2-4: Basic Map Design expert novice RQ 1 RQ 2 RQ 3 RQ 4 Ch 5-6: Complex Map Design Ch 2: Ch 3: Ch 4: expert eye tracking reaction times questionnaire novice Ch 5: eye tracking Ch 7: General Discussion RQ 1 RQ 2 RQ 3 RQ 4 Ch 6: questionnaire thinking aloud sketch map Ch 8: General Conclusion
Part I - Basic Map Design • Task: – Visual search • Techniques: – Eye tracking – Reaction times – Questionnaire • Analyses: – Statistical – Visual
Part I - Basic Map Design • Eye tracking? ...
Part I - Basic Map Design • Eye tracking? • Fixations: Insights in... - Attentive behaviour - Interpretation - Cognitive processes Metrics: - Location of the fixations - Fixation duration - Number of fixations • Saccades:
Part I - Basic Map Design • Reaction time measurements? – Time needed to locate label – Recorded through button actions – Time intervals are compared • Questionnaires? – Background information! • User characteristics • Familiarity with stimuli • Feedback
Part I – Experts vs. novices Chapter 2 • Aims: – Study cognitive processes – Difference experts vs. novices? – Explain by Cognitive Load Theory • Structure WM: limited Cognitive load • Influence of map design – Content – Symbolisation • Room for learning
Part I – Experts vs. novices • Results: ‘experts’ Chapter 2 vs. ‘novices’ – Reaction time measurements • Experts vs. novices • Before vs. after
Part I – Experts vs. novices • Results: ‘experts’ Chapter 2 vs. ‘novices’ Fixation duration (s) Fixation count (fix/s)
Part I – Experts vs. novices • Results: Chapter 2 – Fixation distribution Low number of fixations High number of fixations
Part I – Experts vs. novices Chapter 2 • Conclusion – Similar trend in both user groups: CLT – Experts significantly faster at locating the names – Explained by eye movement metrics Shorter fixations Can interpret the map’s content more efficiently Can interpret a larger part of the map in the same amount of time More fixations per second Locates the names faster Interprets map more efficiently
Part I – Visual Analytics • Aims: Chapter 3 – Extend statistical analyses • Maps: communicate spatial information • Study spatial dimension • Influence of map layout – Visual Analytics Toolkit • Filter data: time & attributes • Aggregate data 1 participant | 10 seconds
Part I – Visual Analytics • • • • Time series Aggregation Simplification Selection Chapter 3
Part I – Visual Analytics • Conclusion – Selection, aggregation, simplifation • Tools are indispensable – Patterns: search behaviour • Time series: evolution search behaviour • Influence of map layout (labels) • Individual differences Chapter 3
Part I – Efficient and effective labels? • Label placement algorithm – Improved efficiency faster – Lower map quality? – Influence on (novice) users? • Effectiveness of the map? total-design – Evaluate different map designs border-design • Aims: original view Chapter 4
Part I – Efficient and effective labels? • Results: ‘border’ Chapter 4 vs. ‘total’ – Reaction time measurements – Eye movements • Fixation duration • Fixation count • Visualisation scanpaths – Questionnaires
Part I – Efficient and effective labels? Chapter 4 • Conclusion – Improved (algorithmic) efficiency – No influence on effectiveness • Consiously: user statements – “no difference was seen” • Unconsiously: measurements – No deviations in » Reaction time measurements » Eye movement metrics
Part II – Complex Map Design • Task: – Study & draw • Techniques: – – – – Eye tracking Thinking aloud Sketch maps Questionnaire • Analyses: – Statistical – Visual
Part II – Complex Map Design • Aims: – Communication process: Sensory Input Transferred Working Memory Limited in -size -time (debate) – Expertise? – Influence of deviations Using links, pointers with previous knowledge Transferred Retrieved Long Term Memory Virtually unlimited
Part II – Reading and Interpretation • Eye movement: – Metrics • Average fixation duration: Experts significantly shorter • Number of fixations per second Experts significantly more Confirm previous findings Chapter 5
Part II – Reading and Interpretation • Eye movements – Gridded visualisations • Fixation count • Total dwell time • Average fixation duration • Average per user group • Maximum per user group Chapter 5
Part II – Reading and Interpretation • Eye movements Chapter 5 – 2D gridded visualisations Average fixation count Maximum fixation count
Part II – Reading and Interpretation Chapter 5 • Eye movements – 3D gridded visualisation Average total dwell time Average fixation duration
Part II – Reading and Interpretation • Eye movements Chapter 5 – Gridded visualisation: statistical comparison Statistical comparison (ANOVA)
Part II – Reading and Interpretation • Eye movements – Scanpaths Chapter 5
Part II – Reading and Interpretation • Eye movements – Conclusion • Focus on general structuring elements • Fixate more on top and left side – Experts: more pronounced • Influence of deviations – No influence for less important elements – Confusion for structuring elements » Colour water bodies » Mirrored map elements – Novices: more pronounced Chapter 5
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Thinking aloud? Chapter 6 – Say out loud every thought – Audio & video recordings – Insights in... • Working Memory – How is information stored – How much information • Information retrieval – Links with Long Term Memory Square...rectangle ...euhm...house? ..what do you guys think?
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Thinking aloud – Recordings – Transcriptions – Segmentation • Words – Word count • Full thought (sentences) – Protocol analyses Chapter 6
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Thinking aloud Chapter 6
Part II – Cognition and Memory Chapter 6 • Thinking aloud – Word segmentation (count in ‰) Based on frequency Based on theme
Part II – Cognition and Memory Psychological Theories • Thinking aloud Coding Scheme Level 1: Map Level Orientate – Execute - Evaluate Transcriptions Level 2: Item Level Gather Thougts – Draw – Correct - Evaluate Level 3: Confidence Confident – Neutral – Not Confident Level 4: Actions (Raw Protocols) Check – Correct – Draw – Erase – Fill Colour – Talk – Take Pencil • Time ratio for each code: [0-1] Chapter 6 THEORY Psychological Model – ‘Full thought’ • 4 Levels of codes: Task Analysis Proposed Codes Coded Protocols Segmented Protocols USER DATA
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Sketch maps? – Draw map from memory – Paper & pencil – Insights in... • What is remembered – Shape, location, relations, ... • How much is remembered • Importance of objects – Order of drawing Chapter 6
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Sketch maps Chapter 6
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Sketch maps – Order of drawing – Scores on maps • Questionnaire – Stated confidence Chapter 6
Part II – Cognition and Memory • Conclusion – General structures: similar • Novices: store more information – Descriptions, locations, etc. – No extra knowledge – Not derive extra information • Experts: can retrieve more information – Know objects’ names – Background information » Derive information – Larger chunks in WM Chapter 6
General Conclusion 1. How do map users read and interpret the visual information presented on screen maps? • • 2. How do map users store and retrieve (use) the information that was previously gathered from screen maps? • • 3. Limited information in WM Retrieve information from LTM through links (chunking) Important influence of background knowledge (carto & geo) How are the map users’ cognitive processes influenced by deviations in the map image? • • 4. Guided by main structuring map elements Influence on cognitive load Experts: more efficient interpretation Subtle differences: almost no influence Deviations to main structures (mirror, colour): confusion Novices are most influenced How does (cartographic) expertise influence the cognitive processes investigated in the previous research questions?
General Conclusion • Effective screen map design? – Guide attentive behaviour • Reference frame: clearly visible • Other elements: neutral – Structure/organise information • Group objects, e.g. through colour use – Optimal map? • Less essential for non-structuring elements • Important for structuring elements
More Info? Kristien.Ooms@UGent.be 1. Ooms, K., De Maeyer, P., Fack, V., Van Assche, E., & Witlox, F. (2012). Interpreting maps through the eyes of expert and novice users. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 26 (10), 1773-1788. 2. Ooms, K., Andrienko, G., Andrienko, N., De Maeyer, P., & Fack, V. (2012). Analysing the spatial dimension of eye movement data using a visual analytic approach. Expert Systems with Applications, 39(1), 1324-1332. 3. Ooms, K., De Maeyer, P., Fack, V., Van Assche, E., & Witlox, F. (2012). Investigation the effectiveness of an efficient label placement method using eye movement data. The Cartographic Journal, 49(3), 234-246. 4. Ooms, K., De Maeyer, P., & Fack, V. (under revision). Understanding expert and novice map users: Reading and interpretation. Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 5. Ooms, K., De Maeyer, P., & Fack, V. (under revision). Listen to the map user: Cognition, memory, and expertise. The Cartographic Journal.
Thank you for your attention! Questions?
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