Expressing attribute uncertainty in spatial data using blinking regions

Julian Kardos 1, Antoni Moore 2 and George Benwell 2
1 Fenomenal Media
PO Box 3100
Ohope, New Zealand
Tel.: + 64 21 763 725; 
media@fenomenal.co.nz
2 Spatial Information Research Centre
Department of Information Science
University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
Tel.: + 64 3 479 8138; Fax: + 64 3 479 8311
amoore@infoscience.otago.ac.nz

Abstract
This paper defines a new method of attribute uncertainty representation, the blinking region. It specifically communicates uncertainty in values associated with choropleth map regions. In this way, error and attribute (census) data can  be made to alternate  in the user’s view, communicating both datasets. The blinking region uncertainty visualization was tested via a web-based survey. Results show that it outperforms most current visualisation of attribute uncertainty techniques (e.g. image sharpness) in terms of visual appeal, speed of comprehension and overall effectiveness. Theoretically, regions  that have the most attribute error could flicker at the fastest rate, with speed of blinking being proportional to the error.

Keywords: geovisualisation, dynamic variables, uncertainty

In: Caetano, M. and Painho, M. (eds). Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 5 – 7 July 2006, Lisboa, Instituto Geográfico Português

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