Designing Interactive Distance Cartograms to Support Urban Travelers


A distance cartogram (DC) is a technique that alters distances between a user-specified origin and the other locations in a map with respect to travel time. With DC, users can weigh the relative travel time costs between the origin and potential destinations at a glance because travel times are projected in a linearly interpolated time space from the origin. Such glance-ability is known to be useful for travelers who are mindful of travel time when finding their travel destinations. When constructing DC, however, uneven urban traffic conditions introduce excessive distortion and challenge user intuition. In addition, there has been little research focusing on DC’s user interaction design. To tackle these challenges and realize the potential of DC as an interactive decision-making support tool, we derive a set of useful interactions through two formative studies and devise two novel techniques called Geo-contextual Anchoring Projection and Scalable Roadnetwork Construction. We develop an interactive map system using these techniques and evaluate this system by comparing it against an equidistant map (EM), a widely used conventional layout that preserves the geographical reality. Based on the analysis of user behavior and qualitative feedback, we identify several benefits of using DC itself and of the interaction techniques we derived. We also analyze the specific reasons behind these identified benefits

Sungsoo (Ray) Hong
Rafal Kocielnik
Min-Joon Yoo
Sarah Battersby
Juho Kim
Cecilia Aragon
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Publication Information: 
The 10th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis 2017).