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Volume 1
Abstr. Int. Cartogr. Assoc., 1, 347, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/ica-abs-1-347-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Abstr. Int. Cartogr. Assoc., 1, 347, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/ica-abs-1-347-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  15 Jul 2019

15 Jul 2019

Evaluation of Map Signs for Evacuation Purposes

Zdeněk Stachoň1, Petr Kubíček1, Hana Švedová1, Jie Shen2,3,4, Xinqian Wu2,3,4, and Milan Konečný1 Zdeněk Stachoň et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 2Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 3School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment (Nanjing Normal University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China

Keywords: Evacuation map, Cartographic visualization, Evaluation

Abstract. An increasing number of population brings increasing vulnerability of the society to different disasters and emergencies. The maps provide spatial information, which is useful on different levels of decision making during emergencies from strategic planning to single person decision making. To fit the user needs maps can be optimized for a particular user, user group, available technology or external conditions.

Evacuation is a crucial part of the process dealing with most of the emergencies. In case of building the standard ISO 23601:2009, Safety identification – Escape and evacuation plan signs was developed to provide the guidelines for the design, materials, installation and other attributes of the evacuation plans. It is mostly based on the ISO 7010:2003, Graphical symbols – Safety colours and safety signs – Safety signs that are widely used in the buildings all around the world. The symbols were designed with the purpose to attract user attention under any circumstances and across the different cultural background. It can be a disadvantage in case of cartographic visualization, while the symbols on the map are not easy to identify the anchor point, increase the graphics clutter of the map (see figure 1).

In our research, we have decided to focus on the evaluation of user’s abilities to use and understand of designed evacuation signs and plans. As the standard is intended to be used worldwide, we have designed study focused on the comparison of the understanding to the meaning of evacuation symbols in general and also in the form of cartographic visualization. We have designed the user study performed in the first step in Nanjing (China) and in Brno (Czech Republic) in order to verify the cross-cultural universality of evacuation symbols. There were about seventy participants in China and seventy participants in the Czech Republic, who performed similar tasks. The tasks consist of separate symbol meaning selection, a separate symbol meaning estimation, identification of a particular symbol on the map and basic interpretation of the map content. The original and modified map signs were used as stimuli in case of cartographic visualization. Results were statistically processed and discussed. The results bring a new perspective on the standardized cartographic visualization for purposes of building evacuation.

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