Visual semiotics & uncertainty visualization: an empirical study

Alan M. Maceachren*, Robert E. Roth, James O'Brien, Bonan Li, Derek Swingley, Mark Gahegan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents two linked empirical studies focused on uncertainty visualization. The experiments are framed from two conceptual perspectives. First, a typology of uncertainty is used to delineate kinds of uncertainty matched with space, time, and attribute components of data. Second, concepts from visual semiotics are applied to characterize the kind of visual signification that is appropriate for representing those different categories of uncertainty. This framework guided the two experiments reported here. The first addresses representation intuitiveness, considering both visual variables and iconicity of representation. The second addresses relative performance of the most intuitive abstract and iconic representations of uncertainty on a map reading task. Combined results suggest initial guidelines for representing uncertainty and discussion focuses on practical applicability of results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6327255
Pages (from-to)2496-2505
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • semiotics
  • uncertainty categories
  • Uncertainty visualization
  • visual variables

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