More is less - Adding zoom levels in multi-scale maps to reduce the need for zooming interactions
Keywords:cartography, multi-scale, zoom, map generalization, user study
When you zoom in or out of current multi-scale cartographic applications, it is common to feel lost and disoriented for a few seconds because dimensions and map symbols have changed. To make the exploration of these multi-scale maps more fluid, one option is to design maps where the transformations due to scale change are more progressive. This paper proposes to use cartographic generalization techniques to design these multi-scale maps with additional intermediate scales to improve progressiveness. These more progressive maps are tested in a user study with a task requiring multiple zooms in and out. The users perform better with the progressive maps, and in particular, the total quantity of required zooming is reduced compared to maps without additional intermediate scales. However, the survey is not fully conclusive on task performance due to the complexity of such a survey with real maps. This difficulty in assessing how well progressive map generalisation reduces disorientation is discussed and guidelines are proposed to design further studies.