Skip to main content


Zhao, H., Smith, B., Norman, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 2004)
Interactive Sonification of Choropleth Maps: Design and Evaluation
IEEE multimedia, Special issue on Interactive Sonification, 12, 2 (2005) 26 -35. [Published Version]
HCIL-2004-23, CS-TR-4651, ISR-TR-2005-56

In this paper, we summarize the Auditory Information Seeking Principle (AISP) (gist, navigate, filter, and details-ondemand). To improve blind access to geo-referenced statistical data, we developed several interactive sonifications, adhering to the above AISP. Two user studies are presented. In the first user study with nine sighted subjects, a preliminary map design is compared with an enhanced table design. The study shows subjects can recognize geographic data distribution patterns on a real map with 51 geographic regions, in both designs. The map-based design was strongly preferred. The study also shows evidence that AISP conforms to people's information seeking strategies. Based on the observations from the first user study, a second user study was conducted with forty-eight sighted subjects comparing four map designs. The effects of using sound to encode vertical geographic positions and two map navigation methods were compared. The result is presented and future work is discussed.


Temporal Visualizations Screenshot

Temporal Visualizations
More information

Tech Reports
Video Reports
Annual Symposium

Seminars + Events
HCIL Seminar Series
Annual Symposium
HCIL Service Grants
Events Archives
HCIL Conference Travel Award
Job Openings
For the Press
HCIL Overview
Become a Member
Collaborating Groups + People
Academic Visitors
Join our Mailing List
Contact Us
Visit Us
HCIL Store
Give the HCIL a Hand
HCIL T-shirts for Sale
Our Lighter Side
HCIL Memories Page
Faculty/ Staff
Ph.D. Alumni
Past Members
Research Areas
Design Process
Digital Libraries
Physical Devices
Public Access
Research Histories
Faculty Listed by Research
Project Highlights
Project Screenshots
Publications and TRs
Studying HCI
Masters in HCI
PhD in HCI
Visiting Scholars
Class Websites
Sponsor our Research
Sponsor our Annual Symposium
Active Sponsorship
Industrial Visitors

Web Accessibility