How does map use differ in virtual reality and desktop-based environments?

ABSTRACT: Maps based on virtual reality (VR) are evolving and are being increasingly used in the fifield of geography. However, the advantages of VR based on the map use processes of users over desktop-based environments (DEs) are not fully understood. In this study, an experiment was conducted in which 120 participants performed map use tasks using maps and globes in VR and DE. The participants’ eye movements and questionnaires were collected to compare the map use performance di erences. We analyzed the general metrics, information searching and processing metrics of participants (e.g. response time, RT; average fifixation duration, AFD; average saccade duration, ASD; saccade frequency, SF, etc.) using maps and globes in di erent environments. We found that the participants using VR processed information more effiffifficiently (AFDDE = 233.34 ms, AFDVR = 173.09 ms), and the participants using DE had both a signifificantly shorter response time (RTDE = 88.68 s, RTVR = 124.05 s) and a shorter visual search time (ASDDE = 60.78 ms, ASDVR = 112.13 ms; SFDE = 6.30, SFVR = 2.07). We also found similarities in accuracy, satisfaction and readability. These results are helpful for designing VR maps that can adapt to human cognition and reflflect the advantages of VR.

TO cite this paper:

Weihua Dong, Tianyu Yang, Hua Liao & Liqiu Meng (2020) How does map use differ in virtual reality and desktop-based environments?, International Journal of Digital Earth, DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2020.1731617

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