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Testing the first law of cognitive geography on point-display spatializations


Montello, Daniel R; Fabrikant, Sara I; Ruocco, Marco; Middleton, Richard S (2003). Testing the first law of cognitive geography on point-display spatializations. In: Kuhn, Walter; Worboys, Michael F; Timpf, Sabine. Spatial Information Theory. Foundations of Geographic Information Science International Conference, COSIT 2003, Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland, September 24-28, 2003. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer, 316-331.

Abstract

Spatializations are computer visualizations in which nonspatial information is depicted spatially. Spatializations of large databases commonly use distance as a metaphor to depict semantic (nonspatial) similarities among data items. By analogy to the “first law of geography”, which states that closer things tend to be more similar, we propose a “first law of cognitive geography,” which states that people believe closer things are more similar. In this paper, we present two experiments that investigate the validity of the first law of cognitive geography as applied to the interpretation of “point-display spatializations.” Point displays depict documents (or other information-bearing entities) as 2- or 3-dimensional collections of points. Our results largely support the first law of cognitive geography and enrich it by identifying different types of distance that may be metaphorically related to similarity. We also identify characteristics of point displays other than distance relationships that influence similarity judgments.

Abstract

Spatializations are computer visualizations in which nonspatial information is depicted spatially. Spatializations of large databases commonly use distance as a metaphor to depict semantic (nonspatial) similarities among data items. By analogy to the “first law of geography”, which states that closer things tend to be more similar, we propose a “first law of cognitive geography,” which states that people believe closer things are more similar. In this paper, we present two experiments that investigate the validity of the first law of cognitive geography as applied to the interpretation of “point-display spatializations.” Point displays depict documents (or other information-bearing entities) as 2- or 3-dimensional collections of points. Our results largely support the first law of cognitive geography and enrich it by identifying different types of distance that may be metaphorically related to similarity. We also identify characteristics of point displays other than distance relationships that influence similarity judgments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Theoretical Computer Science
Physical Sciences > General Computer Science
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 15:23
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:44
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Number:2825
ISSN:0302-9743
ISBN:978-3-540-20148-9
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-39923-0_21

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