Evaluating cartographic design principles applied to space-time cube content

Irma Kveladze, Menno-Jan Kraak

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearch


The interest and use of the Space-Time Cube (STC) has increased over the last years, because it is a suitable graphic representation of movement related data, emphasizing both space and time. This type of data is abundantly available because of the widespread use of GPS and other location capturing tools. Movement data can be expressed in moves (paths) and stops (stations) and can be found in many applications discussed in literature. However, the visualizations shown in this literature are often not optimal. This can be due to the size and complexity of the data sets, but is often also due to the neglectance of a proper cartographic design. To judge the influence of this design on the effectiveness and efficiency of the STC as a graphic representation of movement data a user-centered design evaluation has been set up. The experiment included two applications each with its own characteristic data complexity and content. It involved a historic and an urban problem case. The first is a relatively simple dataset of historical movements and the second is a complex dataset of pedestrians movement. Based on questions formulated by domain experts different design scenarios were tested. These included the different uses of the graphic variables and depth cues to represent the paths and stations. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods were applied during the testing. The results gave an indication on how design influence the 'performance' of the STC, and resulted in guidelines for the design of the cubes content.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Association of Geographers 2013 (AAG) : book of abstracts
Place of PublicationLos Angeles
PublisherAssociation of American Geographers
Publication date12 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2013
EventAAG Anual Meeting 2013: Association of American Geographers - Los Angeles California, United States
Duration: 9 Apr 201214 Apr 2012


ConferenceAAG Anual Meeting 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles California

Bibliographical note

American Association of Geographers (AAG)


  • Cartographic Design


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