Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (3): 599-614.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201903015

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New research progress of eye tracking-based map cognition in cartography since 2008

Weihua DONG(), Hua LIAO(), Zhicheng ZHAN, Bing LIU, Shengkai WANG, Tianyu YANG   

  1. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2018-11-09 Revised:2019-01-14 Online:2019-03-25 Published:2019-03-19


Maps are a necessity in people's lives. Map cognition research, a science of investigating perception, learning, memory, reasoning and decision making of maps, has long been an important issue in the foundation of cartography. As a core part of map cognition research, studies on visual cognition of maps have made a series of achievements promoted by advancements of related fields (e.g., psychology, cognitive science and computer vision) and new techniques (e.g., eye tracking, EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging). Particularly, eye tracking approach has gained much attention, which has been used as a crucial method to investigate map cognition. This paper reviews the new progress of eye tracking based visual cognition of maps which have been made since 2008. We summarized these progresses in six aspects: (1) stimulus: from static maps to dynamic and interactive maps; (2) research extent: from map cognition to map-based spatial cognition; (3) experiment environment: from lab environment to real environment; (4) map dimension: from 2D to 3D; (5) individual differences: from single dimension to multiple dimensions; (6) research purpose: from theory exploration to application. We also summarized future research challenges, difficulties and possible solutions. We hope this review can serve as an initial effort to open more endeavor for future eye tracking investigations into map cognition.

Key words: eye tracking, visual attention, map design, usability evaluation, map-based spatial cognition, pedestrian navigation