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Schlaisich Isolde

Sketch Maps and GIS Output


In this thesis we analyze sketch maps that were done by various subjects. The goal is to determine the characteristics of sketch maps by a small number of parameters. From these characteristics we conclude how intuitive characteristics of space look like and make suggestions how such knowledge can be used to improve applications based on Geographic Information Systems (GISs). The special focus is on the impact of our results on GIS output.

The task of the subjects was to sketch their surroundings. We describe the sketches with the help of various parameters. The parameters are dimension, labeling, area, reference frame, 'I am here' sign, how well did subjects know the area?, number of views, and zooming. For the analysis statistical means are used. We examine if there are groups of sketches with similar appearance and parameter values. This is done by looking at the distribution of the sketches within the parameter space. First, we examine each parameter alone, then we take a combination of two parameters using cross tabulation, and finally we look at all parameters using cluster analysis.

The results of the cluster analysis show that there are three clusters that combine sketches that are very similar. These clusters contain most of the sketches.The values of the sketches in the three main clusters differ mostly in the area that is shown and in the reference frame that is applied. Only few sketches form different clusters, this shows that they have an appearance that is different to the majority of sketches. Using the properties of the sketches in the main clusters one can describe the general appearance of sketch maps.We have found that most of the sketches are in 2D. More than 1/3 of the subjects show their near surroundings and nearly 50% apply an allocentric reference frame. When multiple views are shown more than 80% of the sketches consist of two or three views.

In the final part of the work we list conclusions that can be drawn to improve GIS applications in general and GIS output in particular. We have found that the formulation of the task is important for the appearance of a sketch map. Concluding from this to GIS applications one sees that task analysis is an important field of research to produce GIS output that is satisfying for the user.

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