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Naïve Cartography: How Intuitions about Display Configuration Can Hurt Performance.

Cartographica 01/2009; 44:171-186. DOI: 10.3138/carto.44.3.171
Source: DBLP
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    Spatial Cognition and Computation - SPAT COGN COMPUT. 01/2010; 10:83-93.
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    ABSTRACT: Since the roles of intuition and affection in map use and the relationship between these processes and the effectiveness in activities supported by maps have not been completely measured, this paper intends to bring a contribution to the discussion about the relationship between subjective preference and objective performance. A series of experiments with graduation students was carried out, asking students what they would prefer as a desirable type of map to use for an analytical decision-making process and then their performance of this process was measured. To ensure the validity of the experiment, maps used for this study were designed using a social background as their theme, with analysts being asked to decide where to invest public funds. The same experiment was conducted first using a subset of paper maps (1st stage) and then using interactive web maps (2nd stage). Three types of subsets of thematic maps were assigned randomly among the respondents. Statistical tests were applied and the correlation between preference and performance in this experiment was measured. Results for the 1st step show that there is no significant variation due to the technique used in the performance tests, and for this specific subject, there is insufficient evidence to guarantee that user's preference among map techniques can lead or is related to better performance. Also it was noted that performance decreases for a reasoning related task, and maybe this could be related to the need for a deeper analysis of data evolution through time.
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