Seeking optimal usability to avoid information overload: Comparing gradual with non-gradual scale transitions in web-based maps (GRADUAL)

We have proposed a new concept named Space Scale Cube (SSC) in which map data once stored in a vario-scale data structure can be used for generating maps at all wanted scales in a gradual and smooth way for use on the web. This leads to what we call a vario-scale map, which makes user interaction possible, where a delta in scale (small zoom step) leads to a small change in geographic content of the map.

Past research has indicated that these scale transitions can be made more gradual. In this KIP research project we will compare web maps (with gradual transitions) with fixed scale maps (without gradual transitions) by designing and carrying out a usability study.

The development of the vario-scale web maps including more gradual scale transitions will take place at Delft University of Technology, section GISt. The usability study will be carried out at University of Twente (ITC), in the usability lab of the GIP department, where eye tracking hardware, as well as software for analysis is available. This comparative evaluation of web maps with gradual and non-gradual scale transitions will lead to knowledge on what users (dis)like in interacting with these web maps.

Dongliang Peng (left) behind Tobi Eye Tracker at ITC, University of Twente, together with Corné van Elzakker (right)



User committee



Presentation at User committee

Project overview

NCG Workshop on Creating Interactive Online Maps

A tutorial on creating interactive vario-scale web maps:

Presentations at ICA workshop November 2020

Presentations of the 2 papers above:

  • Multi-layer vario-scale web map comparer with dynamic transitions and visual analytical tool: Youtube video
  • Paralleling generalization operations to support smooth zooming: case study of merging area objects: Youtube video

Presentations at GISt Lunch seminar

GISt Lunch seminar of 2020-11-26 (slides+recording)


The developed prototypes are available on Github:

Project page at NWO

Maps 4 Society NWO project #17644