Cognitive Issues in Geographic Information Visualization

Perception of Topographic and Base Maps

4508.3 - Preliminary Assessment Of The Impact Of Culture On Understanding Cartographic Representations

Tuesday, July 4
2:10 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Maryland C

When users read a topographic map, they have to decode the represented information. This decoding passes through various processes in order to perceive, interpret, and understand the reported information. This set of pro-cesses is intrinsically a question that is influenced by culture. In particular, when one thinks of maps distributed across the internet or representations of audiences from different origins, the chance of efficient communication is reduced or at least influenced. Therefore, there should be some degree of common visual communication, which the symbology of maps can be applied in order to assure the adequate communication of phenomenon being rep-resented on it. In this context, the present work aims at testing which evaluation factors influence the reading of maps, the understanding of space and reasoning of the map user, in particular national topographic maps. The as-sessment was through internet considering official map representation from Brazil and Poland and questionnaires. The results shown that conventional topographic maps on the same scale are not capable of producing the correct interpretation of the user from another culture. This means that formal training has a direct influence on the quality of the interpretation and spatial reasoning. Those results indicate that high levels of formal training positively influ-ence the reading and interpretation results of the map and that there is no evidence that the specialists with the symbology of their own country have significantly positive results, when compared to those used maps with sys-tematic mapping from another country.

Marcio A. R. Schmidt

Docent & Researcher
Universidade Federal de Uberlandia

Graduated in Cartographic Engineering, Master's and Doctorate in Geodetic Sciences at the Federal University of Parana, Brazil. He has professional experience in Geosciences and Conservation, working in GIS for regional planning, Cartographic Visualization and intelligent methods in Remote Sensing. It operates on the lines of artificial intelligence research through expert systems for GIS and Mapping, Data visualization and integration of GIS and automatization technologies. He is a docent and researcher of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Uberlândia.


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Andre Luiz Alencar de Mendonça

Assistant Professor
Universidade do Estado do Amazonas

André holds master’s and doctoral degrees in Geodetic Sciences (specifically Cartography and GIS) from Universidade Federal do Parana ´
(UFPR) . He teaches at the Amazonas State University and works as a consultant in maps, surveying, environmental, land-use management and monitoring projects for government agencies. His academic research focuses on use and user issues for maps; spatial cognition; cartographic legislation; interactive maps; FOSSGIS; spatial databases and applied geotechnologies for sustainable development of the Brazilian Amazon.


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Marlgozata Wieczorek

Uniwersitet Wroclawski

Dr. Earth Sciences in the discipline of geography with a specialization in cartography - a degree awarded in 2008 resolution of the Institute of Geography and Regional Development at the University of Wroclaw
MA in mathematics in specialty biomathematics - professional title in 2007 at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
MA in geography with a specialization in cartography - professional title in 2002 at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Wroclaw
Bachelor of geography - professional title in 2000 at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Wroclaw


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Sidonie Christophe

Senior researcher in Geovisualization
Univ. Paris-Est, LASTIG COGIT, IGN, ENSG, F-94160 Saint-Mande, France

PhD Sidonie Christophe is a senior researcher in cartography and geovisualization, in the COGIT Team of the IGN-France. She is co-chair of the ICA Commission on Cognitive Issues in Geographic Information Visualization, and also co-chair of the ISPRS Commission on Geovisualization, Augmented and Virtual Reality. Her research works focus on knowledge formalization for map and geovis -design, -use and -cognition, in particular on personalization and user control on design.


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4508.3 - Preliminary Assessment Of The Impact Of Culture On Understanding Cartographic Representations


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