Eye-tracking in map complexity evaluation
Probably one of the most important requirements on the map is the speed with which the map can transmit the information, regardless its users, theme or topic. Speed of information transmission is relative, but when comparing two maps with the same purpose, the favorably will be the one, from which the user can get the same information in a less time.
Maps communicate with its user through a system of symbols. Principles of map symbols design are listed in many cartography textbooks. These principles are based on conventions that were applied in cartography for centuries. One of these conventions is well known and respected system of seven visual variables, which were introduced by French cartographer Jacques Bertin. Visual variables are carriers of the information. Each change of visual variable leads to the change of the map symbol meaning.
In cartography it is necessary to maintain sufficient visual distance between map symbols to make them readable and thus their meaning distinguishable. Visual distance quantifies the difference of visual variables of two compared characters. Therefore differences in symbols size, color value and hue, texture, orientation and shape can be separately assessed.
Currently Alzbeta’s research is focused on investigating users‘ ability to effectively distinguish different levels of color distance between map symbols.
Brychtova, A., Vondrakova, A. (2014): Green versus Red: Eye-tracking evaluation of sequential colour schemes. SGEM 2014 Informatics, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing Proceedings Volume III STEF92 Technology Ltd., Sofia, Bulgaria, 8s.
Brychtová, A., Coltekin, A., Popelka, S. (2013): Color distance on maps. ICA Eye-tracking Workshop.
Brychtová, A., Popelka, S. (2013): Exploring the Influence of the Color Distance on the Map Legibility. In Proceedings of 26th ICA Conference, 5 s., Dresden.
Brychtová, A., Popelka, S. (2013): Color distance on choropleth maps: an eye-tracking study on geospatial information legibility, Poster on ECEM Conference, Lund, Sweden.