595 research outputs found

    Users characteristic influence on the efficiency of typographic design

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    This paper investigates the efficiency of typographic design using Bertin’s variables, both individually and combined. A user study was con-ducted in which two types of map users had to perform a search task. The first group consists out of participants who have been trained in cartog-raphy and who use maps on a daily basis. The second group of users are novices who have not got any previous education in cartography. Users’ efficiency was calculated by measuring the consumed time to find the target label. The obtained data was analyzed statistically to compare the efficiency of users’ performance regarding the applicability of visual variables on la-bels. Using ANOVA showed some significant differences between users’ group and within users’ groups (P<0.05)

    The role, opportunities and challenges of 3D and geo-ICT in archaeology

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    Archaeology joins in the trend of three-dimensional (3D) data and geospatial information technology (geo-ICT). Currently, the spatial archaeological data acquired is 3D and mostly used to create realistic visualizations. Geographical information systems (GIS) are used for decades in archaeology. However, the integration of geo-ICT with 3D data still poses some problems. Therefore, this paper clarifies the current role of 3D, and the opportunities and challenges for 3D and geo-ICT in the domain of archaeology. The paper is concluded with a proposal to integrate both trends and tackle the outlined challenges. To provide a clear illustration of the current practices and the advantages and difficulties of 3D and geo-ICT in the specific case of archaeology, a limited case study is presented of two structures in the Altay Mountains

    Concepts, reflections and applications of social equity: approaches to accessibility to primary goods and services in the region of Flanders, Belgium

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    Mobility presents a variety of opportunities as it allows users to access locations and services, and to meet people beyond their immediate surroundings. While the concept of mobility primarily focuses on the ease of moving, accessibility delineates the actual potential to participate in out-of-home activities. As a result, accessibility is a complex concept with a multitude of foci. This complexity is presented in the first section, which explains the general concept of accessibility, how it is defined and how it is related to the notion of transport-related exclusion. This section also gives an overview of the body of literature on the measures to determine area-based as well as personal accessibility levels and points out the important contrast between the simple, easy-to-interpret methods, adopted by policy makers and the complex methods preferred by experts. The second section clarifies how the dichotomous relationship between the urban and rural environment is reflected in transport policy that emphasizes on (especially car-based) mobility rather than on accessibility. Furthermore, the environmental and economic points of view are highlighted and the common policy strategies focused on sustainability are illustrated. Subsequently, the shortcomings in the way in which the contemporary debates concerning mobility, sustainability and the social implications of transport planning are conducted, are criticized. Finally, the last part of this section is dedicated to an extensive discussion on the ability of transport policies to, on the one hand, generate spatially as well as temporally uneven accessibility effects that give preference to certain population groups above others, and on the other hand, their ability to strive for a more equitable distribution of transport services amongst the population. The third section proposes two methodologies for measuring transport-related social exclusion implemented in a literature-based case study in Flanders. These studies comprise the following topics: measuring transport gaps by relating the social to the transport disadvantage and measuring modal disparities by comparing accessibility by private and public transport. The former investigates in which areas the provision of the public transport system is not tailored to specific public transport needs. The latter examines the disparity in access by private and public transport in order to highlight the car dependency. Both case studies incorporate the temporal variability in provision through the private and public transport network, as the time-of-day strongly influences accessibility levels

    Analyzing eye movement patterns to improve map design

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    Recently, the use of eye tracking systems has been introduced in the field of cartography and GIS to support the evaluation of the quality of maps towards the user. The quantitative eye movement metrics are related to for example the duration or the number of the fixations which are subsequently (statistically) compared to detect significant differences in map designs or between different user groups. Hence, besides these standard eye movement metrics, other - more spatial - measurements and visual interpretations of the data are more suitable to investigate how users process, store and retrieve information from a (dynamic and/or) interactive map. This information is crucial to get insights in how users construct their cognitive map: e.g. is there a general search pattern on a map and which elements influence this search pattern, how do users orient a map, what is the influence of for example a pan operation. These insights are in turn crucial to be able to construct more effective maps towards the user, since the visualisation of the information on the map can be keyed to the user his cognitive processes. The study focuses on a qualitative and visual approach of the eye movement data resulting from a user study in which 14 participants were tested while working on 20 different dynamic and interactive demo-maps. Since maps are essentially spatial objects, the analysis of these eye movement data is directed towards the locations of the fixations, the visual representation of the scanpaths, clustering and aggregation of the scanpaths. The results from this study show interesting patterns in the search strategies of users on dynamic and interactive maps

    Can experts interpret a map's content more efficiently?

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    This paper describes the statistical comparison of the results from an experiment with a ‘between user’-design. The first group of participants consists out of novices whereas the second group consists out of experts which have experience in map use and have had training in cartography. The same stimuli (twenty screen maps) are presented in a random order to the participants who have to locate a number of labels on the map image. The participants are asked to indicate when they located a name by a button action, resulting in a time measurement. Furthermore, the participant’s eye movements are registered during the whole test. The combined information reveals a same trend in the time intervals needed to locate the subsequent labels in both user groups. However, the experts are significantly faster in locating the names on the map (P<0.010). The recorded eye movements further confirm and explain this finding: the expert’s fixations are significantly shorter (P<0.001) and can consequently have more fixations per second (P<0.001). This means that an expert can interpret the map content more efficiently and can thus search a larger part of the map in the same amount of time

    The demand for hydrographic surveyors in the Benelux

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    In February 2015, the Hydrographic Society Benelux (HSB) sent an extended questionnaire to 77 of the most important hydrographic companies in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg). The organization of this questioning was in cooperation with the Department of Geography of Ghent University (Belgium). The purpose was to inquire the demand for hydrographic surveyors during the next 5 years in the Benelux. The Benelux is hosting the four biggest dredging companies in the world, so the demand for hydrographic surveyors is usually fairly high and a good parameter for the general demand in the West of Europe. On the one hand, the aim of the questionnaire was to research the demand for the preferred level of hydrographic surveyor, allowing a concise estimation of the demand for IHO category-A and category-B certified hydrographic surveyors. On the other hand, the required balance between hydrographic surveyors with a Bachelor versus Master degree was questioned. As a similar questionnaire and analysis has been performed in 2009, trends over the past 6 years can be discerned and analyzed. The results are important, not only for the private companies, but also for the higher education institutes. In the Benelux, but also outside the Benelux, one can find hydrographic institutes delivering cat. A and cat. B. IHO certified hydrographic surveyors, combined or not with a Bachelor and/or Master diploma. It is generally assumed that there is a shortage of hydrographic surveyors and/or of hydrographical educated employees in the Benelux. Currently, part of the active hydrographic surveyors in the Benelux are engineers, geologists and other non-specifically hydrographic trained people, who received additional bathymetric trining within private companies. But does this hypothesis withstands a scientific analysis? This will be critically analyzed in this paper
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