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HCIL-2004-04

Zhao, H., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Duraiswami, R. (February 2004)
Sonification of Geo-Referenced Data for Auditory Information Seeking: Design Principle and Pilot Study
Proc. International Conference on Auditory Displays (2004), (http://www.icad.org)
HCIL-2004-04, CS-TR-4669, ISR-TR-2005-36

We present an Auditory Information Seeking Principle (AISP) (gist, navigate, filter, and details-on-demand) modeled after the visual information seeking mantra [1]. We propose that data sonification designs should conform to this principle. We also present some design challenges imposed by human auditory perception characteristics. To improve blind access to geo-referenced statistical data, we developed two preliminary sonifications adhering to the above AISP, an enhanced table and a spatial choropleth map. Our pilot study shows people can recognize geographic data distribution patterns on a real map with 51 geographic regions, in both designs. The study also shows evidence that AISP conforms to people's information seeking strategies. Future work is discussed, including the improvement of the choropleth map design.


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