Perceived density of road maps Academic Article uri icon


  • Maps should be designed so that users can comprehend and use the information. Display decisions, such as choosing the scale at which an area is shown, depend on properties of the displayed information such as the perceived density (PD) of the information. Taking a psychophysical approach we suggest that the PD of information in a road map is related to the scale and properties of the mapped area. 54 participants rated the PD of 60 maps from different regions. We provide a simple model that predicts the PD of electronic road map displays, using the logarithm of the number of roads, the logarithm of the number of junctions and the length of the shown roads. The PD model was cross-validated using a different set of 60 maps (n = 44). The model can be used for automatically adjusting display scales and for evaluating map designs, considering the required PD to perform a map-related task. Language: en

publication date

  • January 1, 2014