The ranking of the categories used in the map descriptions from most popular(1) to least popular(12) are:

  1. Direction
  2. Geography
  3. Qualitative
  4. Shapes
  5. Landmarks
  6. Query Data
  7. Thematic
  8. Size
  9. Jurisdiction
  10. Colour
  11. Distance
  12. Location

The study provided 8 different maps that were randomly presented to the participants to describe.  The maps varied in two factors in order to measure any difference in map descriptions.  In general, these two factors were Jurisdiction, some showed a rural setting, others showed an urban setting; and Extent, some showed a zoomed in extent showing more roads etc. others were zoomed out showing entire provinces.  The following tables show how the category ranking changed depending on these factors (sorry for the horrible html tables).  For both factors the top two categories do not change, Direction and Geography remain the most popular.

Ranking of Categories depending on Map Jurisdiction
Rank Overall URBAN RURAL
1 Direction Direction Direction
2 Geography Geography Geography
3 Qualitative Qualitative Landmarks
4 Shapes Shapes Qualitative
5 Landmarks Query Data Shapes
6 Query Data Landmarks Thematic
7 Thematic Jurisdiction Query Data
8 Size Thematic Size
9 Jurisdiction Size Jurisdiction
10 Colour Colour Colour
11 Distance Distance Distance
12 Location Location Location

 

Ranking of Categories depending on Map Extent Level
Rank Overall ZOOM IN ZOOM OUT
1 Direction Direction Direction
2 Geography Geography Geography
3 Qualitative Qualitative Shapes
4 Shapes Landmarks Qualitative
5 Landmarks Shapes Landmarks
6 Query Data Thematic Query Data
7 Thematic Query Data Thematic
8 Size Size Size
9 Jurisdiction Jurisdiction Jurisdiction
10 Colour Colour Colour
11 Distance Distance Location
12 Location Location Distance
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