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Exploring maps by sounds: using parameter mapping sonification to make digital elevation models audible


Schito, Joram; Fabrikant, Sara I (2018). Exploring maps by sounds: using parameter mapping sonification to make digital elevation models audible. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 32(5):874-906.

Abstract

This study empirically investigates the potential of auditory displays for spatial data exploration, as an additional means to broaden the accessibility and dissemination of geographic information for a diverse body of users. In a mixed factorial experiment, three parameter mapping sonification methods are empirically evaluated to interactively explore discrete and continuous digital elevation models by auditory means. Contrasting prior sonification research, this study’s unique empirical evidence suggests that participants can indeed successfully interpret sonified displays containing continuous spatial data. Specifically, the auditory variable pitch leads to significantly better response accuracy, compared to the sound variable duration. Background and training has a weak effect on data interpretation performance with the auditory display. The more immersive the experienced soundscape, the better participants can interpret the sonified terrain. These encouraging empirical results indeed suggest that interactive auditory displays might offer additional means to disseminate spatial information, and to increase the accessibility to spatial data, beyond the currently dominant visual paradigm.

Abstract

This study empirically investigates the potential of auditory displays for spatial data exploration, as an additional means to broaden the accessibility and dissemination of geographic information for a diverse body of users. In a mixed factorial experiment, three parameter mapping sonification methods are empirically evaluated to interactively explore discrete and continuous digital elevation models by auditory means. Contrasting prior sonification research, this study’s unique empirical evidence suggests that participants can indeed successfully interpret sonified displays containing continuous spatial data. Specifically, the auditory variable pitch leads to significantly better response accuracy, compared to the sound variable duration. Background and training has a weak effect on data interpretation performance with the auditory display. The more immersive the experienced soundscape, the better participants can interpret the sonified terrain. These encouraging empirical results indeed suggest that interactive auditory displays might offer additional means to disseminate spatial information, and to increase the accessibility to spatial data, beyond the currently dominant visual paradigm.

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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:2018
Deposited On:16 Jan 2018 16:04
Last Modified:19 Apr 2018 01:02
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1365-8816
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2017.1420192

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