DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2016/B23/S11.023


S. Popelka, J. Dolezalova
Friday 9 September 2016 by Libadmin2016

References: 16th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2016, www.sgem.org, SGEM2016 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-60-5 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 28 - July 6, 2016, Book2 Vol. 3, 175-182 pp

The paper describes an eye-tracking study focused on verification of the suitability of 3D visualization in thematic cartography.
The use of 3D visualization for depicting the relief or urban areas is relatively common. For thematic 3D visualization, the situation is different. Although many methods exist (Stacks of Data Point, Prism Map, Space-Time-Cube, Informational Landscape and others), 3D thematic maps are not very widespread. However, sometimes these maps appear in the media, and 3D thematic maps generators exist. Disadvantages of (especially static) 3D visualization (overlapping, perspective distortion) are more significant for 3D thematic maps than for example for a perspective view of relief. Thematic content is crucial in these maps. Therefore, its overlay or deformation is very undesirable.
The aim of the experiment was to compare two methods of visualization of 3D point symbols – points displayed on the 2D map and on the virtual globe. The experiment contained eight pairs of maps of Europe containing point symbol in each country. The point symbols were randomly assigned to three categories – small, medium and large. The task of 40 respondents was to select all symbols from the medium category. During the experiment, the hypothesis that distinction of point sizes will be more difficult on the virtual globe was tested.
The accuracy of answers was evaluated. Eye-tracking data were visualized and analysed statistically. The results showed that determination of the point size was slower on the virtual globe and respondents also made more mistakes. The perspective distortion of the globe confused the participants.

Keywords: Cartography, 3D, Thematic maps, Eye-tracking, Perspective distortion

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