Next Article in Journal
Assessing the Impacts of Streamside Ordinance Protection on the Spatial and Temporal Variability in Urban Riparian Vegetation
Previous Article in Journal
Using Geospatial Analysis and Hydrologic Modeling to Estimate Climate Change Impacts on Nitrogen Export: Case Study for a Forest and Pasture Dominated Watershed in North Carolina
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(7), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7070281

Using Eye Tracking to Evaluate the Usability of Flow Maps

1
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Key Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Environment and Digital Cities, Research Center of Geospatial Cognition and Visual Analytics, and Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Chair of Cartography, Technical University of Munich, 80333 Munich, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [3178 KB, uploaded 21 July 2018]   |  

Abstract

Flow maps allow users to perceive not only the location where interactions take place, but also the direction and volume of events. Previous studies have proposed numerous methods to produce flow maps. However, how to evaluate the usability of flow maps has not been well documented. In this study, we combined eye-tracking and questionnaire methods to evaluate the usability of flow maps through comparisons between (a) straight lines and curves and (b) line thicknesses and color gradients. The results show that curved flows are more effective than straight flows. Maps with curved flows have more correct answers, fixations, and percentages of fixations in areas of interest. Furthermore, we find that the curved flows require longer finish times but exhibit smaller times to first fixation than straight flows. In addition, we find that using color gradients to indicate the flow volume is significantly more effective than the application of different line thicknesses, which is mainly reflected by the presence of more correct answers in the color-gradient group. These empirical studies could help improve the usability of flow maps employed to visualize geo-data. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow map; map usability; visual variables; visualization; eye tracking flow map; map usability; visual variables; visualization; eye tracking
Figures

Figure 1a

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, W.; Wang, S.; Chen, Y.; Meng, L. Using Eye Tracking to Evaluate the Usability of Flow Maps. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 281.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top