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When size Matters: towards evaluating perceivability of choropleths

McNabb, Liam; Laramee, Robert S.; Wilson, Max L.


Liam McNabb

Robert S. Laramee


G. Tam

F. Vidal


Choropleth maps are an invaluable visualization type for mapping geo-spatial data. One advantage to a choropleth map over other geospatial visualizations such as cartograms is the familiarity of a non-distorted landmass. However, this causes challenges when an area becomes too small in order to accurately perceive the underlying color. When does size matter in a choropleth map? We conduct an experiment to verify the relationship between choropleth maps, their underlying color map, and a user’s perceivability. We do this by testing a user’s perception of color relative to an administrative area’s size within a choropleth map, as well as user-preference of fixed-locale maps with enforced minimum areas. Based on this initial experiment we can make the first recommendations with respect to a unit area’s minimum size in order to be perceivably useful.

Start Date Sep 13, 2018
Publication Date Sep 13, 2018
Book Title EG UK Computer Graphics & Visual Computing
ISBN 978-3-03868-071-0
APA6 Citation McNabb, L., Laramee, R. S., & Wilson, M. L. (2018). When size Matters: towards evaluating perceivability of choropleths. In G. Tam, & F. Vidal (Eds.), EG UK Computer Graphics & Visual Computing.
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