2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
Paper No. 108-1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM


RICHARDSON, Kelly J., Geocognition Research Lab, Michigan State University, 206 Natural Science Bldg, East Lansing, MI 48824, richa603@msu.edu and LIBARKIN, Julie, Department of Geological Sciences, Michigan State University, 206 Natural Science Building, Geosciences Department, East Lansing, MI 48824

The legend is arguably a map’s most important feature. Legends provide insight into the meaning of map symbols, colors, and scale, as well as the underlying rationale for creation of a map. This study attempts to determine if training, multiple viewings of similar maps, affects the ways in which subjects view maps and map legends. Participants (n=28) were shown global monthly mean surface temperature maps in three different design conditions, including the hue-based spectral scheme (rainbow), the lightness-based grayscale scheme (grey), and a lightness-dominant purple scheme (purple). Participants wore a Mobile Eye eye-tracking unit while viewing each of the three maps on a 24” monitor. Treatment effects were minimized through rotation of the order in which maps were shown to participants. We focus here on an initial ten seconds of free viewing that preceded specific interview questions. Eye-tracking data were digitized into and analyzed in ArcGIS. A training effect, whereby subjects change their gaze behavior on subsequent map viewings as a result of prompting during interviewing on the first map, was expected. An initial hypothesis that the purple and grey maps, both lightness-based, would have similar, and different from the color map, training effects was refuted. In particular, time spent on the scale bar increased with each viewing of the map for both the color and grey maps; unexpectedly, the amount of time spent viewing the scale bar actually decreased by the third viewing for the purple map. In addition, the gaze paths changed between first- and third-viewed maps for many individuals from a seemingly random or landscape-oriented motion to one in which comparisons between the map and legend occurred.

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 108--Booth# 198
Geologic Maps, Digital Geologic Maps, and Derivatives from Geologic and Geophysical Maps (Posters)
Colorado Convention Center: Hall D
8:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 1 November 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 273

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