Can a Physical 3 Dimensional Display Improve the Understanding of Topographic Maps for People with Low Spatial Ability?
With the recent developments of shape changing materials, possibilities arise to create a physical three dimensional representation of a topographic map. Our study investigates the differences in the understanding of a 2D and 3D view of a terrain compared with a physical representation of the same terrain. Furthermore, we correlate our findings with the spatial ability score, derived from a spatial visualization test executed by each participant. We have conducted an experiment to test the participant’s understanding of terrains on different displays (2D, 3D and physical 3D). Although we did not find a significant increase for the low spatial ability group, we found a significant (p=.013) decrease for people with high spatial ability when using a physical 3D display compared to a 3D display. The Expertise Reversal Effect is suspected to be a key attribute for this.
topographic map, relief map, physical three dimensional display, 2d, 3d, spatial ability, spatial visualization, 3D terrain models, terrain visualization, digital terrain model, Expertise Reversal Effect, Naïve Realism
Daan Oldenhof, "Can a Physical 3 Dimensional Display Improve the Understanding of Topographic Maps for People with Low Spatial Ability?", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2016