Evaluating an animated and static time series map of District Six: A visual and cognitive approach
Visualization of spatial information is an important aspect in the representation of map displays. Maps today are visually adapted to a variety of mediums in displaying spatial information temporally and as time series phenomena. GIS technology has incorporated tools for analysing these spatio-temporal trends. However map users are overwhelmed by the amount of information in these map displays and therefore experience cognitive overload. In this study we find that static and animated maps have their respective advantages in the visualization of the map reader by placing participants through a structured set of questions. All these facets exist in the visual and cognitive realm of the map reader. District Six is a unique area that has experienced significant spatial change in the last century, mainly attributed to its political history. This has been depicted in a conventional static and animated time series map representation which has been designed to facilitate the understanding of the spatial change that occurred during this unique period of history. In this paper a methodology has been investigated and implemented in the design of the map, by enhancing the map reader’s experience in visualising time series spatial data. We conclude further that visual intention and attention are cognitive facets that collectively strengthen the map reader’s ability in learning spatial information.