Hirtle Authors Monograph on Geographic Design


Faculty member Stephen Hirtle has authored a monograph which looks at how humans process spatial concepts and how interfaces can be improved to take advantage of that understanding. Geographical Design: Spatial Cognition and Geographical Information Science was published in March 2011 by Morgan & Claypool as part of the Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics. The monograph is extremely timely in that the use of GPS, Smartphones, and online tools such as GoogleMaps has become an everyday part of life.  Hirtle explores how people conceptualize space, how they perceive wayfinding, and users’ expectations. He discusses the various types and benefits of technologies to acquire locational information including the interfaces through which people access that information.  Hirtle pays special attention to innovative geographical platforms which provide users with intuitive access to spatial knowledge. In conclusion, he examines challenges to interface design for location information including the changing role of maps as well as security and privacy concerns.

Dr. Stephen C. Hirtle is Professor in School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, with joint appointments in the Department of Psychology and Intelligent Systems Program. He directs the Spatial Information Research Group at Pitt, which conducts research on the structure of cognitive maps, navigation in real and virtual spaces, and computational models for spatial cognition. He has had visiting appointments in Geoinformatics at the University of Augsburg in Germany, Geoinformation at the Technical University of Vienna in Austria, the Computer Science at Molde College in Norway, and the Artificial Intelligence Research Group at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. He has also served on the Board of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science and numerous reviews panels for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.