Thoughts on “Koua et. al – Evaluating the usability of visualization methods in an exploratory geovisualization environment”

This article by Koua et. al articulates that the choices made and the techniques used when designing a geovisualization are crucial to convey all the necessary information to the interpreter. Based on certain objectives, certain visualizations were more effective at conveying the necessary information and were more usable compared to others, something that was tested with scientists in the field.

An interesting addition to the research would have been to test the geovisualizations with non-scientists given the fact they are becoming increasingly present in interactive newspaper articles online and on websites in general: what is easily conveyed to scientists may not be as easy to a general public. This research reinforced the notion that these visualizations are only used by professionals in the field, which is no longer the case. In an era where misinformation is rampant on social media and online, understanding how certain geovisualizations are interpreted by the general public could certainly help in designing more intuitive geovisualization techniques.

Technological advancements in the coming years will potentially open the door for new visualization techniques, which, for example, could make use of augmented reality and other emerging technologies. This could make it easier to visually represent certain situations and aid in the transfer of information.

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