Publications

We present BitConduite, a visual analytics approach for explorative analysis of financial activity within the Bitcoin network, offering a view on transactions aggregated by entities, i.e. by individuals, companies or other groups actively using Bitcoin. BitConduite makes Bitcoin data accessible to non-technical experts through a guided workflow around entities analyzed according to several activity metrics. Analyses can be conducted at different scales, from large groups of entities down to single entities. BitConduite also enables analysts to cluster entities to identify groups of similar activities as well as to explore characteristics and temporal patterns of transactions. To assess the value of our approach, we collected feedback from domain experts.

This paper reports on a controlled experiment evaluating how different cartographic representations of risk affect participants’ performance on a complex spatial decision task: route planning. The specific experimental scenario used is oriented towards emergency route-planning during flood response. The experiment compared six common abstract and metaphorical graphical symbolizations of risk. The results indicate a pattern of less-preferred graphical symbolizations associated with slower responses and lower-risk route choices. One mechanism that might explain these observed relationships would be that more complex and effortful maps promote closer attention paid by participants and lower levels of risk taking. Such user considerations have important implications for the design of maps and mapping interfaces for emergency planning and response. The data also highlights the importance of the ‘right decision, wrong outcome problem’ inherent in decision-making under uncertainty: in individual instances, more risky decisions do not always lead to worse outcomes.

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For decades, uncertainty visualisation has attracted attention in disciplines such as cartography and geographic visualisation, scientific visualisation and information visualisation. Most of this research deals with the development of new approaches to depict uncertainty visually; only a small part is concerned with empirical evaluation of such techniques. This systematic review aims to summarize past user studies and describe their characteristics and findings, focusing on the field of geographic visualisation and cartography and thus on displays containing geospatial uncertainty. From a discussion of the main findings, we derive lessons learned and recommendations for future evaluation in the field of uncertainty visualisation. We highlight the importance of user tasks for successful solutions and recommend moving towards task-centered typologies to support systematic evaluation in the field of uncertainty visualisation.

Noise annotation lines are a promising technique to visualize thematic uncertainty in maps. However, their potential has not yet been evaluated in user studies. In two experiments, we assessed the usability of this technique with respect to a different number of uncertainty levels as well as the influence of two design aspects of noise annotation lines: the grain and the width of the noise grid. We conducted a web-based study utilizing a qualitative comparison of 2 areas in 150 different maps. We recruited participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk with the majority being nonexperts with respect to the use of maps. Our findings suggest that for qualitative comparisons of “constant uncertainty” (i.e., constant uncertainty per area) in thematic maps, noise annotation lines can be used for up to six uncertainty levels. During comparison of four, six, and eight levels, the different designs of the technique yielded significantly different accuracies. We propose to use the “large noise width, coarse grain” design that was most successful. For “mixed uncertainty” (i.e., uncertainty is not constant per area) we observed a significant decrease in accuracy, but for four levels the technique can still be recommended. This article is a follow-up to our conference paper reporting on preliminary results of the first of the two experiments.