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Comparing Dot and Landscape Spatializations for Visual Memory Differences

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3 Author(s)
Melanie Tory ; University of Victoria ; Colin Swindells ; Rebecca Dreezer

Spatialization displays use a geographic metaphor to arrange non-spatial data. For example, spatializations are commonly applied to document collections so that document themes appear as geographic features such as hills. Many common spatialization interfaces use a 3-D landscape metaphor to present data. However, it is not clear whether 3-D spatializations afford improved speed and accuracy for user tasks compared to similar 2-D spatializations. We describe a user study comparing users' ability to remember dot displays, 2-D landscapes, and 3-D landscapes for two different data densities (500 vs. 1000 points). Participants' visual memory was statistically more accurate when viewing dot displays and 3-D landscapes compared to 2-D landscapes. Furthermore, accuracy remembering a spatialization was significantly better overall for denser spatializations. Theseresults are of benefit to visualization designers who are contemplating the best ways to present data using spatialization techniques.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 6 )