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Comparing Dot and Landscape Spatializations for Visual Memory Differences
November/December 2009 (vol. 15 no. 6)
pp. 1033-1040
Melanie Tory, University of Victoria
Colin Swindells, University of Victoria
Rebecca Dreezer, McMaster University
Spatialization displays use a geographic metaphor to arrange non-spatial data. For example, spatializations arecommonly 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.

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Index Terms:
Information interfaces and presentation, screen design, evaluation / methodology, user / machine systems,software psychology, landscape visualization.
Citation:
Melanie Tory, Colin Swindells, Rebecca Dreezer, "Comparing Dot and Landscape Spatializations for Visual Memory Differences," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 1033-1040, Nov.-Dec. 2009, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2009.127
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