Eye-tracking in non-technological aspects in cartography



The maps are produced for different target groups with different purposes and present many different topics. There is a complex of non-technological aspects that can be addressed and evaluated during the map production analysis. These non-technological aspect include for example map design (aesthetical aspect), methods of cartographic visualization (visualization aspect), data processing and preparation (geoinformatic aspect), cognitive user perception (user aspect), psychological impact of colour used and the map as a whole (psychological aspect), the influence of historical rules and principles (historical aspect) and more…
A combination of modern trends in cognitive cartography and knowledge of methods of cartographic visualization can be a very good basis for the research that can lead to the improvement of cartographic production. This trend is also supported by the activities of the International Cartographic Association in the form of expert committees Use and User Issues and Cognitive Visualization. To express spatial information there are lots of methods of cartographic visualization. Using these various methods differ primarily in connection with the main purpose and objective of visualizations. To select appropriate methods of cartographic visualization and appropriate parameters of each method, it is necessary to perform user testing through the use of various cartographic tasks. Statistical evaluation of correctness and time performance of these cartographic tasks subsequently lead to the evaluation of each parameter of particular methods of cartographic visualization.
The suitability of selected cartographic methods, colours, data presentation and their applications significantly affect the user‘s ability to gain quick access to the correct information from a map. The quantification and evaluation of different factors on the information perception from a map by different groups of users is the main task in many researches.
The research “Eye-tracking in non-technological aspects in cartography” is focused on the use of eye-tracking technology in solving various cartographic tasks. It is a combination of outputs of a comprehensive set of eye-tracking experiments that address different areas of cartographic visualization with focus on the non-technological aspects. All the evaluated aspects are related to the efficiency of information transfer from the map to the user, which is presented as the information perception.
Individual experiments are focused on specific aspects of cartographic visualization – the use of text labels and fonts, use of colours, the map content (information vs. graphic), various methods of cartographic visualization, etc. The resulting comparison enables comprehensive view of the issue. The uniqueness of the research lies in the assembly and comparison of multiple experiments, not from the perspective of the individual research questions, but in the form of evaluation of different cartographic tasks solved by individual respondents.


Vondrakova, A., Popelka, S.(2014): The use of eye-tracking for the evaluation of various cartographic tasks. SGEM 2014 Informatics, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing Proceedings Volume III STEF92 Technology Ltd., Sofia, Bulgaria, 8s.978-619-7105-12-4