The development of a visualization tool to assist topographic map users

Van den Heever, Johannes Lodewikus (2002-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The recognition and description of relief features from their contour patterns is recognized as the main challenge in topographic map education. Conducting field exercises can solve this problem, but can be very time consuming. Modern technology, however, provides an alternative teaching technique by creating depictions of terrain. Important issues raised by this new approach include questions such as what these depictions should look like and how it should be presented to the user. Research presented here aims to address these issues by constructing design guidelines for terrain depiction. These design guidelines were derived from previous research and case studies. The guidelines focussed on research about how people perceive different representations of terrain and how these representations should optimally be presented. The design guidelines were constructed from research done in diverse fields such as cognitive psychology, cartography and engineering. Results of this research revealed that in order to develop an effective terrain visualization tool, it is crucial to incorporate different fields of expertise. The design guidelines were implemented with ArcView GIS and its 3D Analyst extension, which has the ability to display spatial data in three dimensions. The final product is called Terrain Visualization Tool 1.1 (TVT) and was created by customizing an ArcView GIS project (TV BUILDER) and constructing a Website (TV VIEWER). TV BUILDER creates the visualization data in the form of 20 web pages per topographic area and links them to TV VIEWER that serves as a platform to view the data. The design guidelines were implemented successfully and show the advantages of using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in related research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die identifisering en beskrywing van landskapelemente vanaf hul kontoere is geidentifiseer as die primere uitdaging in topografiese kaartonderrig. Hierdie probleem kan oorkom word deur kaartleesoefeninge in die veld te onderneem, maar dit neem baie tyd in beslag. Modeme tegnologie maak ‘n alternatiewe onderrigmedium moontlik deur die skep van verskillende landskapsuitbeeldings. Hierdie alternatief laat die vraag ontstaan hoe die uitbeeldings moet lyk en hoe dit aan die gebruiker aangebied moet word. Die doel van hierdie navorsing spreek hierdie vrae aan deur ontwerpriglyne vir landskap uitbeelding daar te stel. Die ontwerpriglyne is saamgestel deur bestudering van vorige navorsing en studies wat op hierdie gebied gedoen is. Die riglyne fokus veral op navorsing wat mense se reaksie op verskillende landskapuitbeeldings ondersoek. Die ontwerpriglyne is egter saamgestel deur navorsing wat gedoen is in velde soos kognitiewe sielkunde, kartografie en ingenieurswese. Hierdie navorsing het bewys dat inkorporasie van verskillende studievelde in die ontwikkeling van terrein visualiseringstoepassings essensieel is. Die riglyne is geimplementeer deur gebruik te maak van ArcView GIS en die 3D Analyst uitbreiding wat die vermoe het om data in drie dimensies uit te beeld. Die finale produk genaamd Terrain Visualization Tool 1.1 (TVT) bestaan uit twee komponente, naamlik ‘n aangepaste ArcView GIS projek (TV BUILDER) en ‘n webwerf (TV VIEWER). TV BUILDER skep die landskapsuitbeeldings van een topografiese area in die vorm van 20 web bladsye en verbind dit met TV VIEWER, wat as ‘n platform dien om die landskap uitbeeldings te beskou. Die ontwerpriglyne is suksesvol geimplementeer, wat die voordele van Geografiese Inligtingstelsels (GIS) in hierdie en soortgelyke toekomstige navorsing demonstreer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53098
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