Maps That Tell Tales

Looking into the Maps That Tell Tales I have found that these visual representations are not only a device in which to orientate oneself with the current geography or to illustrate the emotions that a participant will have with their surrounding environment, as with emotive maps. But these differing versions monitor a specific area over a set period of time to show the current trends and patterns of the participants involved. Although I think it would be interesting to have a comparison over a blind test in which the participants are oblivious to the recording of their movements and another in which they are well aware, to note how their behaviour changes with this knowledge.

When displayed as a static image I think that the map concerning the movements of people visiting the Worcester City Museum over a time period of 15 minutes is slightly confusing. The trends that are easy to pick out are the pathways that are used to move around the room, and that the majority of visitors were women as there is a lot of red displayed on the page. However I think that the overall display of the key in the centre of the page, is a poor move in terms of data visualisation. It seems obstructive of the information provided and it’s only on further inspection that the viewer realises that the middle space was waste regardless. The chart points were mapped every 30 seconds to give the impression of the participants and the actions they have made. These coordinates were taken over the course of an hour, but it was decided to eliminate the other 45 minutes as the map was seen to be too confusing.

Maps That Tell Tales: 15 Minutes at the Museum

The map concerning the charted movements of the family on Christmas day 2006 is a lot more clearer to understand as there is less information provided in terms of time management, as with the map above. Instead this purely records the movement of the three people and cat within the household. Each person was given a different colour and from the trends and patterns you can see who moved the most around the room. However I would have expected the Christmas tree to be the main focal point on Christmas day with the main bulk of activity being displayed around it, shockingly it is the door out of the living room that presents the most interest. The majority of interest points are located in the top three quarters of the display showing that during the course of Christmas day the television and surrounding area were ignored. I also find the movement of the cat interesting; it has clear destinations throughout the room and doesn’t deviate in getting from one to another. It moves in straight lines and is attracted to warm spaces.

Movement Map: 1hr in Front of the TV

I think it’s interesting to see the trends in data and information across these maps that tell tales. In regards to monitoring a till at the University of Worcester Cafeteria over a 10 minute period at lunch time it’s interesting to see the movements of the staff over such a small location. A grid was placed over the intended space which was then videoed and monitored with reference points for the passing participants being taken every 30 seconds.

Movement Map: 10 Minutes At The Lunch Counter




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