Perceived density of road maps

Hadas Schwartz-Chassidim, Joachim Meyer, Yisrael Parmet, Efrat Rogatka, Ohad Amzaleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Maps should be designed so that users can comprehend and use the information. Display decisions, such as choosing the scale at which an area is shown, depend on properties of the displayed information such as the perceived density (PD) of the information. Taking a psychophysical approach we suggest that the PD of information in a road map is related to the scale and properties of the mapped area. 54 participants rated the PD of 60 maps from different regions. We provide a simple model that predicts the PD of electronic road map displays, using the logarithm of the number of roads, the logarithm of the number of junctions and the length of the shown roads. The PD model was cross-validated using a different set of 60 maps (n = 44). The model can be used for automatically adjusting display scales and for evaluating map designs, considering the required PD to perform a map-related task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1579-1587
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Digital road map
  • Map scale
  • Perceived density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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