You Can Learn A Lot from a Pupil

Poole and Ball provide readers, with little to no knowledge of eye-movement tracking, a brief overview of the techniques, equipment, and application of the research. They, unfortunately, do not include a section devoted to geo-visualization, which would make this an exercise in read and repeat. Or fortunately, in that it provides us with a broad spectrum for interpretation.
While eye-movement tracking has made major leaps from its original design, including a metal coil affixed to the cornea, it still fall shorts. According to Poole, researchers still have not developed a standard interpretation of results. An example of which includes the duration and frequency of fixation on a target. Depending on the situation, multiple longer durations are considered positive, in that subjects are more interested in the target, or negative in that subjects take more time to encode the visual information. This does not mean the field does not have applications in GIS, and geo-visualization.
As Poole points out, eye-movement tracking techniques can be used to substantiate claims of what may be visually appealing on a case-by-case basis. GIS serves as a way of conveying spatial data in the form of maps. If maps are responsible for the quick and easy conveyance of information, visually optimal maps may be developed with the help of eye-movement tracking. Whether or not the participant is interested in the topic is up to the researcher.



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