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The role of relevance and cognition in attention-guiding geovisualisation


Swienty, O; Reichenbacher, T; Reppermund, S; Zihl, J (2008). The role of relevance and cognition in attention-guiding geovisualisation. Cartographic Journal, 45(3):227-238.

Abstract

It is a delicate task to design suitable geovisualisations that allow users an efficient visual processing of the depicted geographic information. Today, such a design task is subject to three major challenges: the ever growing amount of geospatial data at various levels of detail, the diversified applications of that data, and the continuously expanding range of display sizes. In this work, the aim was to enhance the visualisation of relevant geographic information by focusing on utility and usability issues of designing geographic information representations. The relevance of information as an element of utility and its cognitively adequate visualisation as an element of usability was considered. To enhance utility, irrelevant data was separated from relevant data by implementing relevance as a filter and embodying relevance values as
attributes of the selected objects. To represent these relevant objects and the context information design principles were formulated and a design methodology proposed that tends to facilitate a user’s attentional capacities when processing geovisualisations. In order to design this attention-guiding geovisualisation, use was made of approaches and findings from relevance theory and cognitive psychology with emphasis on neuroscientific principles. A combination of relevance filtering
and a cognitively adequate visualisation improved the overall usefulness of geovisualisations and made a substantial contribution to their practical acceptability. This interdisciplinary approach allowed a more precise and valid evaluation of geovisualisation designs.

Abstract

It is a delicate task to design suitable geovisualisations that allow users an efficient visual processing of the depicted geographic information. Today, such a design task is subject to three major challenges: the ever growing amount of geospatial data at various levels of detail, the diversified applications of that data, and the continuously expanding range of display sizes. In this work, the aim was to enhance the visualisation of relevant geographic information by focusing on utility and usability issues of designing geographic information representations. The relevance of information as an element of utility and its cognitively adequate visualisation as an element of usability was considered. To enhance utility, irrelevant data was separated from relevant data by implementing relevance as a filter and embodying relevance values as
attributes of the selected objects. To represent these relevant objects and the context information design principles were formulated and a design methodology proposed that tends to facilitate a user’s attentional capacities when processing geovisualisations. In order to design this attention-guiding geovisualisation, use was made of approaches and findings from relevance theory and cognitive psychology with emphasis on neuroscientific principles. A combination of relevance filtering
and a cognitively adequate visualisation improved the overall usefulness of geovisualisations and made a substantial contribution to their practical acceptability. This interdisciplinary approach allowed a more precise and valid evaluation of geovisualisation designs.

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14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:21 Jan 2009 16:55
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:37
Publisher:British Cartographic Society
ISSN:0008-7041
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1179/000870408X311422

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