University of Twente Student Theses


The time cartogram approach as alternative visual representation of space time paths

Bulalauri, Natia (2011) The time cartogram approach as alternative visual representation of space time paths.

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Abstract:Cartographic visualization always played a significant role in human being’s activities. New development of computer technologies makes it possible to use alternative visualization methods. Nowadays it is possible to display space-time data using different types of mapping methods such as the cartographic animation and the Space Time Cube (STC). These methods have the capability to represent relationships between objects and actions in space and time. On the other hand, the time cartogram is a mapping method that makes it possible to use time as a distance unit. The time cartogram demonstrates distortion of geographic space based on time since the Euclidean distance is replaced by time distance. Generally, a time cartogram is used to visualize transportation systems where movement of objects along the network follows fixed paths. As mentioned above there are mapping methods and tools such as the STC and the animation that have capabilities to represent space-time data. This research focused on the examination of a time cartogram approach in order to display space-time data and see if it is useful for displaying such data by comparison with alternative mapping methods such as a traditional geographically correct map (map), the STC and the animation. To estimate if this mapping method is appropriate and suitable for displaying space-time data a usability research test was conducted (in three sessions): comparing the time cartogram with the map, with STC and animation. Effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction for the time cartogram in comparison with the map, the STC and the animation were determined with respect to spatial and temporal aspects. The overall result shows that the time cartogram is a more usable method than the other mapping methods concerning the temporal aspects. The tests persons could examine the time cartogram easily and executed the tasks correctly that were related to temporal aspects, but the test persons had problems with examining the time cartogram on spatial aspects and they performed the tasks related to this aspects incorrectly. Key words: (time) cartogram, the STC, cartographic animation, Space Time Path (STP), usability evaluation.
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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