3D Geovisualization and the Structure of Visual Space


Publisher Summary

This chapter describes the structure of space in terms of both perception and action and discusses the implications for 3D GIS interfaces. It presents some of the properties of visual space with reference to perceptual mechanisms and design implications for interactive GIS. It also highlights the cost of acquiring knowledge through navigation. A navigation mechanism should afford rapid and simple navigation in such a way that maximal cognitive resources are retained for decision-making. The navigation mechanism should afford context as well as focal information. Focal information is that which is the immediate focus of attention and hence, most frequently loaded into visual working memory. In addition, the human perception of space is very different; the visual system supports a number of coordinate systems including retina-based and egocentric head/torso-based. Humans are also, to a very limited extent, capable of constructing a view of space that approximates Cartesian space, but individuals vary greatly in their ability to mentally imagine 3D structures in this way.

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Exploring Geovisualization


International Cartographic Association



Publisher Place

New York, NY, USA



Document Type

Book Section