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The aim of the thesis is to analyse the influence of cartographic style on the perception of road map. Two eye-tracking experiments and questionnaire survey achieved the objective in order to ascertain user perception of roadmaps. The research deals with cartographic style and its aspects, map perception and analysis of road maps from Kartografie PRAHA, a. s.
The aim of the thesis is to analyse the influence of cartographic style on the perception of road maps. Among the partial theoretical goals are identification of aspects of cartographic style as well as cartographic style of road atlases / road maps with which a visual comparison method was employed. In the practical part, methods of eye-tracking and a questionnaire survey were applied in order to examine the influence of cartographic style on the perception of two road maps of different cartographic style published in 1994 and 2013 by Kartografie PRAHA, a. s.
Two experiments were performed. In the first one, maps from 1994 and 2013 atlases were analysed. Respondents tasks were to find particular place in the map, find the route from A to B etc.
In the second experiment, maps from the 2013 atlas were modified based on the results of first experiment. The structure and type of task was similar to the one from the first experiment.
First experiment contained 7 pairs of maps. Half of them was from 1994 atlas, half from 2013 atlas.
Second experiment contained total of 28 stimuli displaying original maps from 2013 atlas and their modified version.
In the first experiment, 22 respondents had participated. In the second one, data from 24 respondents were analysed. Most of the respondents were students of geoinformatics. The rest were students from different faculties. Respondents fill out short questionnaire about their driving skills and type of navigation which they use.
For the study, remote eye-tracking device SMI RED 250, developed by SensoMotoric Instruments, was used. This device was operating at frequency of 250 Hz.
In the first experiment, statistically significant differences in the perception of two road maps were ascertained. Higher values of observed metrics (response time and number of fixations) were detected in the maps issued in 2013.
Correctness of answers in the first experiment
Time to Answer and Fixation Count in the first experiment
In the second experiment, it was carried out that there is a significant influence of the colour of communications on road map perception during the route search. Lower values were recorded in original maps.
Visualization of Route finding with the use of HeatMap (left) and FlowMap (right)
By five subjective indicators (aesthetics, clarity, comprehensibility, colour and font use) was carried out that road maps from 2013 are more user-friendly than the others, regardless the fact that the first experiment found out the readability of certain symbols and route search is considered to be better in the older road maps. The research deals with cartographic style on topographic and thematic maps, map user perception and eye-tracking technology. The result is a set of general recommendations for further production of road maps as well as a set of proposals for changes with regards to user preferences.
The subjects of the first eye-tracking experiment are two road atlases published by Kartografie PRAHA, a. s. in 1994 and 2013 which represent two different cartographic styles. There is the hypothesis that older road atlas is better legible than the new one. Statistically significant differences in the perception of two road maps were ascertained during the route search and elements search in the first experiment. Higher values of observed eye-tracking metrics (time to response and fixation count) were detected in the maps issued in 2013. There were proposed some changes (the color adjustment of the forest and communications) on the base of the first experiment in order to assess the influence of these aspects of cartographic style on the perception of road map and evaluate their effectiveness. The changes were adjusted in cooperation with the publisher Kartografie PRAHA, a. s. It was carried out that there is a significant influence of the colour of communications on road map perception during the route search. Finally the results of two eye-tracking experiments and questionnaire survey were summarized in a set of general recommendations in order to increase road map efficiency and clarity
Drahošová, S. (2015). Vliv kartografického stylu na percepci automap, Palacký Unviversity Olomouc, Diploma thesis, 56p.
OGAMA experiment is available here: