Sketching habits in GIS

A study of people''s sketching habits in GIS by Andreas Glaser.

Abstract: Sketching is traditionally associated withdoodling simple strokes on a piece of paper.Only few professionals outside of design andthe fine arts have recognized the expressivepower of this intuitive modality. However,sketching seems particularly well suited tocapture objects and situations in a spatialenvironment, such as geographic space. To learnmore about the techniques and strategies peopleuse when sketching, a survey of sketching wasconducted. The study showed that paper andpencil sketches contain mostly simple andabstract objects that are composed of only fewstrokes. The spatial configuration of a sceneis primarily expressed through the topologicalordering of objects relative to each other.Metric relationships are used to refine spatialconfigurations. These and other findingssuggest that sketching is an appropriatemodality to interact with a computer where onewants to describe and capture objectconfigurations in a spatial environment, suchas a geographic information system (GIS).

Keywords: freehand sketching - human computer interaction - human subject testing - multi-modal user interfaces - spatial querying - spatial information retrieval in GIS

Why do I blog this? Since I am working on the coding scheme to analyse the map annotations in the CatchBob experiments, this kind of paper is useful.