University of Twente Student Theses


Guidelines for the design of flow maps

Wang, Tianyuan (2017) Guidelines for the design of flow maps.

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Abstract:The world is a dynamic system, as anindicator, movements aregenerated and recorded when humans, information, energy, global trade are moving. It is significantand useful forpeople to exploreand utilize them in a suitable way. Nowadays, flow maps are commonlyapplied as a visualization approach to represent the movements, however, how to design and visualizewith different movement attributes in order to help people discover the potential informationisstilla challenge. The innovation of this research are the guidelines which could help the public to extract information from the flow maps and the potential users who are willing to make movements visible by using flow maps.To understand flow maps, a set of criteria with six aspects were generated based on how to read a flow map. With the criteria, 183 flow maps from various sources were collected and assessed, which is the basis of this research.Different presentations wereclassifiedand rankedafter the inventoryin order to know which designs are the common ones. Apart from this, some design principles were given which were summarized from the existing flow maps.Considering the criteriaand the characteristics of the data in thispracticalcase, airport data will be visualized in respect to Network, Quantitative as well as Qualitative and Direction with various representations by using flow maps. The representations are the most uses ones which were ranked in the previous step. An online survey was designed and carried to test the performances of each representation. The feedbacks from more than 100 participants were evaluated in the aspect ofEfficiency, Effectiveness,and satisfaction. It is found that: When depicting the flow map connections, flow map with curved lines is more accurate in relation to answering questions correctly; People prefer to compare quantitative data using symbols of different sizes at O/D location rather than using varying thicknessesof flow lines; The label is a better representation to show the qualitativeattributes; user preferenceof direction representationsis: Animated-particle, Arrow-line, Coloured-line, Transparent-line, and Tapered; Transparent-to-solid line is preferred than solid-to-transparent line; thin-to-thick as the moving direction is more decipherableinstead of the thick-to-thin direction. However, these conclusions were discovered based on the flow maps which visualized airport data.The reasons that could influence the results were discussed in the last part of this research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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