Issues of Change Detection in Animated Choropleth Maps

Abstract

One primary utility of animated maps is their ability to depict change over time and space; unfortunately, recent research suggests that humans frequently fail to perceive changes within dynamic graphics. However, different types of dynamic graphics include different manifestations of change. For example, an animated proportional-symbol map possesses different change properties than an animated choropleth map. This article examines issues of change on animated choropleth maps. We identify relevant limitations of the human visual system that pertain to animated map reading, including change blindness and foveal versus peripheral attention, and introduce methods to quantify the magnitude of change that separates individual scenes within choropleth animations. These methods are useful for measuring and describing changes that confront users of animated choropleth maps. We also characterize the transitional behaviours of enumeration units and discuss the influences of data classification and other cartographic controls on change within animated choropleth maps.

DOI: 10.3138/carto.44.3.201

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Cite this paper

@article{Goldsberry2009IssuesOC, title={Issues of Change Detection in Animated Choropleth Maps}, author={Kirk Goldsberry and Sarah Battersby}, journal={Cartographica}, year={2009}, volume={44}, pages={201-215} }