What do we know about the space-time cube from a cartographic and usability perspective?

Irma Kveladze, Menno-Jan Kraak

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


This paper discusses the results of the extensive usability evaluation of the space - time cube based on a user centered design approach. It is characterized by an early involvement of human geographers, who provided rich movement data and their research questions, to be used in use case scenarios during the testing. With the domain experts workflows were established and linked to a visualization strategy based onShneiderman’s mantra. With the question ‘What is the effect of the cartographic design on the usability of the space - time cube?’ in mind different maps were created applying different visual variables and depth cues. In a focus group based experiment the design was evaluated with eight experts in geovisualization. During this test the suitability of the visual variables was discussed for the ‘overview’ and ‘zoom’ steps based on several hypotheses. For the display of the trajectories qualitative data the results were as expected. For the quantitative data some surprising result can be reported. The final results are a good starting point for some more testing with alternative data sets
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings, AutoCarto 2012. The International Research Symposium on Computer-based Cartography. Columbus, Ohio, USA. September 16-18
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventThe International Research Symposium on Computer-based Cartography - Columbus, Ohio, United States
Duration: 16 Sept 201218 Sept 2012


ConferenceThe International Research Symposium on Computer-based Cartography
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityColumbus, Ohio


  • Space-time cube
  • Usability evaluation
  • Cartographic design
  • Domain experts


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