Possibilities of contactless control of web map applications by sight


  • Rostislav Nétek Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University in Olomouc, Tr. Svobody 26, Olomouc, 771 46, Czech Republic




Eye Tracking System, Web Map Applicatons, SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), non-contact control


This paper assesses possibilities of a new approach of control map applications on the screen without locomotive system. There is a project about usability of Eye Tracking System in Geoinformatic and Cartographic fields at Department of Geoinformatics at Palacky University. The eye tracking system is a device for measuring eye/gaze positions and eye/gaze movement ("where we are looking"). There is a number of methods and outputs, but the most common are "heat-maps" of intensity and/or time. Just this method was used in the first part, where was analyzed the number of common web map portals, especially distribution of their tools and functions on the screen. The aim of research is to localize by heat-maps the best distribution of control tools for movement with map (function "pan"). It can analyze how sensitive are people on perception of control tools in different web pages and platforms. It is a great experience to compare accurate survey data with personal interpretation and knowledge. Based on these results is the next step – design of "control tools" which is command by eye-tracking device. There has been elected rectangle areas located on the edge of map (AOI – areas of interest), with special function which have defined some time delay. When user localizes one of these areas the map automatically moves to the way on which edge is localized on, and time delay prevents accidental movement. The technology for recording the eye movements on the screen offers this option because if you properly define the layout and function controls of the map, you need only connect these two systems. At this moment, there is a technical constrain. The solution of movement control is based on data transmission between eye-tracking-device-output and converter in real-time. Just real-time transfer is not supported in every case of SMI (SensoMotoric Instruments company) devices. More precisely it is the problem of money, because eye-tracking device and every upgrade is very expensive. This constrains and their solutions are also discussed in paper. Main aim of the project is to design (both economically and technologically), optimal way how to record and convert eye-movement in a program with sophisticated control of movements.


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