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

Completed research project

Title / Titel Geographic relevance in mobile applications (GeoRel II)
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung This project is a continuation of a previous project entitled “Geographic relevance visualisation in mobile applications “ that developed methods of representing the relevance of geographic information in map representations. The objective of this project is to evaluate these methods and developed representations with human subject experiments.

Geographic information is recently ever more used on mobile devices, such as Smartphones. Consequently mobile services building on and employing geographic information, such as location-based services (LBS) or map services have been and still are developed. Yet, most of these services lack a clear concept of geographic relevance, its application for filtering superfluous information, and its appropriate explicit representation. Investigating the fundamental aspects of geographic relevance is not solely fruitful for further developing today’s mobile geovisualisation services, but may also contribute to other fields within Geographic Information Science (GIScience).

We aim at refining the development of and empirically evaluate methods and metaphors for the effective representation of geographic relevance in mobile geovisualisation applications and services. Drawing upon and extending previously developed techniques we may transfer knowledge and deepen the integration of methods currently being developed in complementary research fields such as geographic information visualisation and mobile geographic information seeking, and time geography.

The fundamental research question of the project is how we can support spatio-temporal based decision-making in mobile situations and mobile user activities by employing geographic relevance? The more specific research questions can be formulated as follows:

- How effective and efficient are representations of geographic relevance?

- Are such visualisations supporting mobile users with limited cognitive processing capacities?

Main outputs are expected in three areas: 1) additional knowledge about adapted map representations on mobile devices, 2) new insights how relevance metaphors for geographic relevance work, and 3) a set of methods for representing geographic relevance.

This project is likely to make fundamental contributions at the intersection of GIScience, including (cognitive) geovisualisation research, and applied adaptive, mobile geovisualisation service development, deployment, and use. The proposed research will provide answers to the essential research question “How can we efficiently employ and represent geographic relevance to communicate spatio-temporal information within a mobile context”? The outcomes of the project will specifically lead to a better understanding of the nature and applicability of the relevance concept in GIScience. Capitalising on an interdisciplinary approach, this project will draw upon expertise in GIScience, geovisualisation, cognitive psychology, computer science and related fields. This research may foster the advancement of knowledge in two complementary fields – GIScience with geovisualisation and experimental psychology. We expect the developed relevance representation methods to be of immediate use to a wide range of application areas dealing with geographic information communication.

In a broader scope, better understanding of visual information processing involved in using mobile displays and extracting knowledge from graphics is fundamental prerequisite for supporting mobile users during navigation, in mobility related activities, and for rapid decision-making processes. Efficient representation of geographic information supporting cognitive processes in everyday life situations should be an urgent objective for an information society reliant on geographical knowledge and geographically informed decision-making.
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. Tumasch Reichenbacher (Project Leader)
Prof. Dr. Sara Irina Fabrikant
Dr. Arzu Çöltekin
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2012 to Dec 2012