Naïve Cartography: How Intuitions about Display Configuration Can Hurt Performance

Cartographica The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization 09/2009; 44(3):171-186. DOI: 10.3138/carto.44.3.171
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Available from: Harvey S. Smallman, Apr 28, 2015
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    • "The PSSM is effective precisely because it retains and enhances key features of the environment while simultaneously suppressing extraneous information (such as object colour) and preserving terrain changes in a way that can be easily recovered. This should not be surprising to cartographers, who have long known, and who have ample evidence to suggest, that realism does not always result in a better map (Hegarty and others 2009). Wilkening and Fabrikant (2011) found that special-purpose slope zone maps performed better than more realistic hillshaded maps in an experiment simulating helicopter landing site selection, and the trade-offs in performance for generalized versus realistic maps have been noted in many other contexts as well (Dillemuth 2005; Ishikawa and Yamazaki 2009; Pingel and Clarke 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although shaded relief, or hillshaded, images are a widely used method to represent high-resolution (~1-m) digital surfaces derived from airborne laser (or LiDAR) scans, such displays may become difficult to interpret when they include surface features like buildings, roadways, and natural vegetation. One possible alternative as a visualization of such surface models is a representation based on slope shading – the steeper, the darker – but attenuated to the perceptual bias of overestimation of slope. The empirical work presented here demonstrates that Perceptually Shaded Slope Maps (PSSMs) perform as well or better than either hillshaded or hypsometric images on map-reading tasks, including profile estimation and mental rotation.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Cartographica The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization
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    • "The new design challenges raised by digital maps have also stimulated this resurgence (Montello, 2002). Following the path opened up by Robinson , there is a group of scholars dedicated to continuously rethinking the design of maps as it evolves with new technologies and new practices such as online cartography (Hegarty et al., 2009; Nivala et al., 2008) and ubiquitous access (Griffin and Fabrikant, 2012; Tsou, 2011). Some of this research is based on reviews of specific topics such as cartographic interactions (Roth, 2012) and change detection on animated maps (Goldsberry and Battersby, 2009), but most of it is based on tests designed to assess the efficiency of certain cartographic choices by human subjects – most often undergraduate students – performing tasks designed around controlled stimuli (Lobben et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this third report, I focus on cognitive cartography in order to examine how the historical division between empiricist and critical approaches in cartography has shifted recently. I do so by building on Kitchin and Dodge’s argument (2007) that parts of the apparent disjuncture within cartography might be resolved through a greater focus on emergent approaches to mapping as a process, which is the core idea of post-representational cartography. By looking at cognitive cartography from a post-representational perspective I emphasize two major trends. On the one hand, the processual positioning of post-representational cartography simply shifts the historical line of divide, since it inherently disqualifies any cognitive studies that artificially dissociate the map from its context of use and production. On the other hand, by enabling the combination of critical positioning with empiricist practices, post-representational cartography offers opportunities to revisit in practical terms the tensions between these two approaches. It provides an original framework to envision our mental, emotional and embodied relationships with maps and with places through maps, and has the potential to bring cartography into a new arena in which the empiricist/critical divide could be transcended.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Progress in Human Geography
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    • "However, participants' decision-making confidence was significantly higher when using satellite maps for this task compared to road maps. One interpretation could be that participants tend to overestimate their performance with satellite images (or underestimate their performance with abstract road maps) as Hegarty et al. (2009) have found. This might be yet another indication of the naive realism phenomenon (Smallman and St. John 2005), i.e. novice users' misplaced faith in the utility of realism. "

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010
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