Challenging the Conventions of Interface Design for Education-Oriented Animated Maps




Sidney, Laura R.
Edsall, Robert M.

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


A study was performed to establish interface design guidelines for temporal animated maps. The study is focused on education-oriented maps, as might be found in courseware or lectureware. Measures of performance and preference measures for map comprehension were assessed for their dependence on the orientation and direction of motion of the temporal indicator on legends for animated maps. A secondary focus of this research is to determine if the reading directionality of an individual's native language influences their cognition of time passing, and thus should inform design of legends that indicate time passing on animated maps. Results indicate that some measures of performance and preference were significantly different among legend styles, and that, in an educational setting, there is benefit to allowing users to customize interfaces to accommodate different learning styles.



geography, interface design, animated maps, educational psychology, human-computer interaction


Sidney, L.R. & Edsall, R.M. (2005). Challenging the conventions of interface design for education-oriented animated maps. Research in Geographic Education, 5, pp. 5-24.


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