Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics Studies Completed Theses
Visual route communication via geometric deformation

Visual route communication via geometric deformation

Led by:  Fuest, Sester
Team:  Olga Shkedova
Year:  2021
Is Finished:  yes

Modern map navigation applications mainly offer users the most efficient route concerning travel time or distance. However, other important factors can affect the individual route choice of users. This thesis proposes visual route communication via geometric deformation while providing map readers with different route options and helping them by visual means distinguish the most efficient route according to their personal preferences. The proposed communication is directed to create individual routing solutions, motivate travelers to avoid paths traversing the territories, which should be circumvented for different reasons, and increase the informative content of navigation maps.

For route communication via geometric deformation, first, a literature study was performed. For communication development, human psychological aspects were examined. For representation, existing visual variables were investigated and taken as a basis. The deformation method for the thesis found inspiration in perspective drawing art techniques, previously introduced multiple scales designs for maps, geometric projections, and distortions. Finally, the idea to visualize roads in the shape of a hollow or a pit was created. This type of visualization is suggested for roads that drivers are intended to avoid and not include in their route choices. Consequently, according to the requests of drivers, a recommended path will be perceived as visually suitable for driving. On the other hand, a route that does not correspond to set preferences will cross a deep hollow or a pit and appear inappropriate for navigation.

For the deformation implementation, two approaches were proposed in the thesis. The first method is based on the variable scales design. The foundation of the second method is lens distortion. For this purpose, an automated system for deformation was realized. The data used for implementing the methods was derived from open-source platforms. Additionally, calculations of the fastest route and route corresponding to the preferences were involved in the automated process.

The generated visual communication is represented as part of an interactive web map application that provides different route options to the user.

The evaluation of the developed communication effect on a route choice behavior of map users was performed by analysis of the user study, which was specially formed for this thesis. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test, executed for the study results, approved a statistically significant difference in the route choices before and after road network deformations proposed in the thesis. The multiple-scale type of deformation motivated to change the route preference of the study participants in 82.82% of examined traffic situations and the lens distortion method in 49.55%.