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Eye-tracking Evaluation of Weather Web Maps

Department of Geoinformatics, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc, 17. listopadu 50, 77146 Olomouc, Czech Republic
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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(6), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8060256
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human-Centered Geovisual Analytics and Visuospatial Display Design)
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Abstract

Weather is one of the things that interest almost everyone. Weather maps are therefore widely used and many users use them in everyday life. To identify the potential usability problems of weather web maps, the presented research was conducted. Five weather maps were selected for an eye-tracking experiment based on the results of an online questionnaire: DarkSky, In-Počasí, Windy, YR.no, and Wundermap. The experiment was conducted with 34 respondents and consisted of introductory, dynamic, and static sections. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of recorded data was performed together with a think-aloud protocol. The main part of the paper describes the results of the eye-tracking experiment and the implemented research, which identify the strengths and weaknesses of the evaluated weather web maps and point out the differences between strategies in using maps by the respondents. The results include findings such as the following: users worked with web maps in the simplest form and they did not look for hidden functions in the menu or attempt to find any advanced functionality; if expandable control panels were available, the respondents only looked at them after they had examined other elements; map interactivity was not an obstacle unless it contained too much information or options to choose from; searching was quicker in static menus that respondents did not have to switch on or off; the graphic design significantly influenced respondents and their work with the web maps. The results of the work may be useful for further scientific research on weather web maps and related user issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: web maps; cartography; user issues; eye-tracking technology; weather; meteorology web maps; cartography; user issues; eye-tracking technology; weather; meteorology
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Popelka, S.; Vondrakova, A.; Hujnakova, P. Eye-tracking Evaluation of Weather Web Maps. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 256.

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