Abstract: The quality of dynamic map symbols plays an important role in the representation of spatial-temporal changes. This paper reports an investigation into the quality of dynamic symbols. To assess the quality of such symbols, a set of traffic flow data is used for the production of different kinds of dynamic maps, with focus on four variables, i.e. size, color, frame rate and display format. Two quantitative measures are used for analysis, i.e. deviation and response time. A set of traffic data is used for the production of dynamic maps for evaluation. The experimental results show that the size is more efficient and more effective than color for dynamic maps with the same frame rate and display format. The most efficient and effective color class number is 10 on the large format display such as 1024 × 768 pixels. And the most efficient and effective size class number is 15 on large format display such as 1024 × 768 pixels. The effective frame rate for dynamic map animation is smaller than that of the general animation on the Internet or Quick Time and AVI format video. The most efficient and most effective frame rate is 3 frames per second in the color expression and 6 frames per second in the size expression. In sum, the effective and efficient value of color, size and frame rate on large format display is less than the value on the small format display. These results suggest the frame rate should be reduced on the small format display. It is hoped that the results from this study will be of help in the design of effective and efficient dynamic map symbols for geographical information visualization.
Cite this paper: Dong, W., Ran, J., & Wang, J. (2012). Effectiveness and efficiency of map symbols for dynamic geographic information visualization. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 39(2), 98-106. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1559/1523040639298