Visualization of Maps by Digital Media - a Web-based Experiment
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Today, digital media is the main distribution channel of geographical information via maps. By utilizing digital media, the possibilities of more interactivity and animation in maps are opened. Up until now, animation in maps has been relatively limited. Weather maps has for many years been using animation without them necessarily conveying any more information. Static visual variables are still important for conveying information in a map. But can dynamic variables and animation in some cases be used to convey the information better and faster? In this thesis, we conducted a web-based experiment where animated and dynamic maps were evaluated against static maps to see if the information is conveyed better or faster. To create the maps in the experiment, we used traffic-related data from the Norwegian mapping Authority in the form of speed-limit data from Trondheim, Norway.The web experiment asked the 180 participants who volunteered to identify specific features in the 19 different maps that were created. Some maps were based on static visual variables, some on dynamic and some on a combination of static and dynamic variables. From this, we found that the maps with combinations of static and dynamic variables performed better than static-only maps in some cases, but no significant difference in general. The maps consisting of only dynamic variables performed significantly worse than the other types.