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Comparison of Methods for Learning Choropleth Maps [1988-1990: United States] (ICPSR 9759)

Principal Investigator(s): Slocum, Terry A.


The purpose of this study was to gather information on how people learn choropleth maps and to determine which of various computer display methods is most appropriate for learning this type of map. Software was developed to enable users to explore data commonly portrayed as a choropleth map. The software was then tested in controlled experiments using undergraduates at the University of Kansas. The design for Experiments I and II, which explored reactions to the sequencing of parts of a map as compared to the more traditional method of displaying a map all at once, consisted of formal and informal portions. In the formal portion, the actual effectiveness of traditional and sequenced maps was examined. The speed and accuracy of information acquisition and retention (memory) of subjects was the focus of this phase. In the informal portion, subjects viewed several display methods and (1) picked their most and least preferred methods, (2) explained their preferences, and (3) suggested alternative display methods. Dataset 1 contains data collected in association with the publication listed below. Datasets 2 and 3 consist of data from Experiments I and II, respectively, while Dataset 4 is a text file containing the verbal protocols used for Experiment I.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

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DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Dataset 1 - Download All Files (0.216 MB)
DS2:  Dataset 2 - Download All Files (0.176 MB)
DS3:  Dataset 3 - Download All Files (0.202 MB)
DS4:  Dataset 4 - Download All Files (0.203 MB)

Study Description


Slocum, Terry A. Comparison of Methods for Learning Choropleth Maps [1988-1990: United States]. ICPSR09759-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09759.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09759.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-8706847)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    cognitive processes, college students, computer aided mapping, computer programs, computer software, computer use, information management, information users, learning, mapping, maps, student participation, testing and measurement

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Date of Collection:   

  • 1988--1990

Data Type(s):    experimental data, survey data


Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-04-02

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 5 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.


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