Map-like visualisations vs. treemaps - An experimental comparison

Robert P. Biuk-Aghai, Patrick Cheong Iao Pang, Bin Pang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Treemaps have been used in information visualisation for over two decades. They make use of nested filled areas to represent information hierarchies such as file systems, library catalogues, etc. Recent years have witnessed the emergence of visualisations that resemble geographic maps. In this paper we present a study that compares the performance of one such map-like visualisation with the original two forms of the treemap, namely nested and nonnested treemaps. Our study focused on a quantitative evaluation of accuracy and speed. We found that accuracy was highest for the map-like visualisations, followed by nested treemaps and lastly non-nested treemaps. Task performance was fastest for nested treemaps, followed by non-nested treemaps, and then map-like visualisations. We conclude that the results regarding accuracy are promising for the use of map-like visualisations in tasks involving the visualisation of hierarchical information, even at the expense of somewhat longer performance times.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVINCI 2017 - 10th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction
EditorsShigeo Takahashi, Jie Li
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450352925
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction, VINCI 2017 - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 14 Aug 201716 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
VolumePart F130152


Conference10th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction, VINCI 2017


  • Cartographic visualisation
  • Empirical study
  • Experiment
  • Map-like visualisation
  • Quantitative evaluation
  • Treemap


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