Geografie 2019, 124, 163-185

Intuitiveness of geospatial uncertainty visualizations: a user study on point symbols

Jan Brus, Michal Kučera, Stanislav Popelka

Palacký University Olomouc, Faculty of Science, Department of Geoinformatics, Czechia

Received November 2018
Accepted May 2019

Be understanding of uncertainty, or the difference between a real geographic phenomenon and the user’s understanding of that phenomenon, is essential for those who work with spatial data. From this perspective, map symbols can be used as a tool for providing information about the level of uncertainty. Nevertheless, communicating uncertainty to the user in this way can be a challenging task. Be main aim of the paper is to propose intuitive symbols to represent uncertainty. Bis goal is achieved by user testing of specially compiled point symbol sets. Emphasis is given to the intuitiveness and easy interpretation of proposed symbols. Symbols are part of a user-centered eye-tracking experiment designed to evaluate the suitability of the proposed solutions. Eye-tracking data is analyzed to determine the subject’s performance in reading the map symbols. Be analyses include the evaluation of observed parameters, user preferences, and cognitive metrics. Based on these, the most appropriate methods for designing point symbols are recommended and discussed.


This work was supported by the project „Innovative evaluation methods and advanced analysis of spatially based systems“ (IGA_PrF_2018_028) with the support of the Internal Grant Agency of Palacký University Olomouc and “Development of key competences in terms of subject didactics, cross-curricular themes and interdisciplinary relations”, reg. No. CZ.02.3.68/0.0/0.0/16_011/0000660 of Ministry of education, youth and sports of the Czech Republic.


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