Experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of graphic symbols on tourist maps

L. F. Leung, Zhilin Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a series of tests on the effectiveness of graphic symbols on Hong Kong tourist maps produced by three different organisations. One test is on isolated symbols on white background, another test is on symbols in map context, and the third test is on the effect of some selected factors on symbol interpretation. Results show that more than 50 percent of the tested symbols fail to attain the criteria. These ineffective symbols were found to be mainly abstract and geometric, so that they bear a poor resemblance to the object. It was found that the size of a symbol has an important influence upon the recognition and time required for searching symbols. It is also found that inadequate use of text (letters) in the context of a symbol may confuse map users and increase the required searching time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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