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Empirical study of cartograms


Kaspar, S; Fabrikant, Sara I; Freckmann, P (2011). Empirical study of cartograms. In: 25th International Cartographic Conference, Paris, FR, 3 July 2011 - 8 July 2011.

Abstract

We report on an empirical study investigating the effectiveness and efficiency of spatial inference making with contiguous (value-by-area) cartograms, compared to informational equivalent choropleth maps, combined with graduated circles. We find significant differences in people's inference-making performance dependent on the map type. Overall, results suggest that the choropleth map with graduated circles is more effective and more efficient than the cartogram for the analysis of population census data. However, map effectiveness and efficiency also significantly depends on the inference task complexity, and more surprisingly, on the shape characteristics of the depicted enumeration units. For simple tasks, cartograms seem as effective and efficient as the more traditional mapping method. For complex inference questions, inference performance with cartograms is significantly dependent on whether regular or irregular zones are distorted. As we know still very little about the perception and cognition of cartograms, we hope to shed new light for this intriguing mapping method with this empirical study.

We report on an empirical study investigating the effectiveness and efficiency of spatial inference making with contiguous (value-by-area) cartograms, compared to informational equivalent choropleth maps, combined with graduated circles. We find significant differences in people's inference-making performance dependent on the map type. Overall, results suggest that the choropleth map with graduated circles is more effective and more efficient than the cartogram for the analysis of population census data. However, map effectiveness and efficiency also significantly depends on the inference task complexity, and more surprisingly, on the shape characteristics of the depicted enumeration units. For simple tasks, cartograms seem as effective and efficient as the more traditional mapping method. For complex inference questions, inference performance with cartograms is significantly dependent on whether regular or irregular zones are distorted. As we know still very little about the perception and cognition of cartograms, we hope to shed new light for this intriguing mapping method with this empirical study.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Event End Date:8 July 2011
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 13:52
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:07
Publisher:International Cartographic Association
ISBN:978-1-907075-05-6
Additional Information:Proceedings of the 25th International Cartographic Conference
Official URL:http://icaci.org/documents/ICC_proceedings/ICC2011/Oral%20Presentations%20PDF/B2-Cognition%20for%20map%20design%20and%20map%20reading/CO-112.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.icc2011.fr/
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51344

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