Cartographic usability evaluations based on eye tracking studies

This research focuses on map users and more specifically how (well) they can read and interpret the visual information on maps. In turn, this information can be used to improve their design: colours, layout, text placement, etc. A distinction is made, on the one hand, between different types of maps: paper maps, static digital maps and interactive digital cartographic products. The characteristics of the map users are also investigated on the other hand: e.g. experts vs. novices. Eye tracking takes a central place in this research, with which the users’ eye movements are registered: where, when and how users study the visual information on maps. By combining this with other methods of evaluation (e.g. thinking aloud, reaction time measurements, questionnaires, etc.) thorough insights in the map users’ attentive behaviour or (search) strategies can be obtained.

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