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Human-Computer interaction aspects of GIS: A cognitive ergonomics perspective

Turk, A.G. (1992) Human-Computer interaction aspects of GIS: A cognitive ergonomics perspective. In: Mark, D.M. and Frank, A.U., (eds.) User interfaces for Geographic Information Systems: Report on the specialist meeting. U.S. National Center for Geographic Information Analysis, pp. 167-169.

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Computerized geographic information systems (GIS) are combinations of hardware, software, data, procedures and people assembled for the capture, storage, retrieval, analysis and display of spatially and temporally referenced information. GIS may be defined as incorporating software for modelling of bio-physical processes and decision support. While expert systems can make a significant contribution to such analysis processes, people play a vital role, both as individuals and as members of decision groups. GIS design and implementation must therefore aim to optimize the sharing of tasks between the person and the computer, (cognitive ergonomics), as well as the more traditional interface, documentation and training aspects of human-computer interaction (HCI).

This perspective emphasizes the need to achieve appropriate levels of cognitive control, (modes of engagement), for GIS operations through the identification and analysis of the cognitive work to be performed and the design of graphics which cogently address the decision requirements. To facilitate the efficient and effective implementation of these principles, the preparation of a theoretical ’reference model’ describing the relevant variables and their interrelationships is proposed. Successively more coherent and useful ’optimization models’ can be developed from the ’reference model’ through a program of psychological experimentation.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: U.S. National Center for Geographic Information Analysis
Notes: National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis Report 92-3
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