Fakultäten » Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät » Geographisches Institut » Geographic Information Science » Prof. Dr. Sara Irina Fabrikant » Çöltekin

Completed research project

Title / Titel Development and Implementation of Geofoveation (GeoF)
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Development and Implementation of Geofoveation (GeoF)

Geographic datasets, e.g., maps, terrain and city models, are essentially large and complex. They require efficient, intelligent data management techniques. The increased popularity of network based services for way finding --both on the Internet (e.g. Google Earth) and on mobile devices-- calls for further attention to this need to manage limited bandwidth. We are continuously forced to think of better ways to manage large datasets. Managing computational and bandwidth resources by rendering what is perceptually and thematically relevant for geovisualization displays is one of the two major motivating points for this proposal.

While a number of advanced computer graphics methods deal with complex scene management, such as view frustum culling, visibility culling, view-dependent rendering, mesh simplification, level of detail management and foveation, better perceptual models with a focus on stereoscopic 3D and geospatial datasets are needed. Foveation is an established technology in peripheral resolution degradation as a compression method in two-dimensional (2D) images and videos, however there is little empirical work to document what happens when we place the foveated scenes in front of people. Whether viewers notice the compression in the periphery or not has been studied by very few researchers, further tests are essential to evaluate the implied cognitive benefits. Especially in 3D as simulating depth of field may have significant benefits to health problems associated with 3D viewing experience.

Motivated by earlier research that postulated foveation to be an effective data management system for visualization, this project aims at developing geofoveation for geovisualization. In parallel to the computational arguments, previous research implies that foveation may be cognitively superior to its alternatives. We plan to analyze the implied cognitive benefits by creating empirical evidence.

In this investigation, following are the research questions

- How can we best adapt foveation research to geovisualization? What are the field-specific challenges? Can we improve the current methods for area of interest management in geovisualization by integrating foveation? How can we efficiently and effectively visualize complex, in particular 3D geographic datasets in resource-limited environments?

- Do foveated displays deliver what they promise? How can we measure the cognitive adequacy of the method? More specifically, how can we determine whether depth of field (DOF) simulation reduces the viewer discomfort associated with stereoscopic displays because of the vergence-focus conflict?

Key outputs are expected in three areas. First, knowledge integration from separate but complementary fields will bring theoretical contribution (geofoveation concept). This is followed by a proof-of-concept implementation of geofoveation, and a test bed for experimenting with two and three-dimensional foveated displays. Then methods and tools are evaluated with users (empirical evaluation of usefulness and usability). Expected results are 1) a novel concept development for geovisualization, 2) a set of
methods to visualize geographic data in different technical platforms, 3) additional knowledge on usefulness and usability of foveated displays, and 4) new insights on how DOF simulation may help vergence-focus conflict in a stereoscopic 3D environment.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe Geovisualization displays, 3D visualization, human-computer interaction, foveation, area of, interest management
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. Arzu Çöltekin (Project Leader)
Prof. Dr. Sara Fabrikant  
Dr. Tumasch Reichenbacher  
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Dr. Andrew Duchowski United States
Prof. Dr. Henrik Haggren Finland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Dec 2008 to Dec 2010