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The vision of the CogVis Commission co-Chairs is that this commission will continue to work to provide the empirical basis for developing a cognition and perception-informed theoretical framework on which the design of successful static, dynamic and interactive maps; geovisual analytics displays and systems; and effective human-computer interaction should rest. We are also committed to building linkages with cognate disciplines such as likeminded researchers in psychology, cognitive science, vision science, human-computer interaction, and the design sciences. Thereby, the CogVis Commission’s work would support that of other existing ICA Commissions, while in turn our own work will be informed by map, geovisualization and human-computer interaction design problems identified by other ICA Commissions.


  • Promote the awareness of cognitive issues in cartography, developing human-centered cartographic theory and practice based on sound empirical findings on the use of cartographic displays for spatiotemporal inference and decision-making.
  • Define short and medium term research goals that fall within the scope of commission-led research agenda that was published in late 2017, and that address key issues associated with building a sound theoretical base to support the construction and use of cognitively adequate and perceptually salient visual displays of geographic information.
  • Explore opportunities to engage with standards organisations (e.g., Open Geospatial Commission) to use knowledge from our Commission to positively influence and contribute to standards related to maps and decision making.
  • Encourage interdisciplinary and international collaboration with cognate disciplines and relevant stakeholders, including other ICA commissions and working groups.
  • Actively seek to encourage more participation in the Commission from researchers in the African and Asia-Pacific regions, which are currently underrepresented among our membership. We will commit to trying to host at least one event in the African region during the term. We also seek, insofar as possible, to also open participation through electronic means, in workshops by using technologies such as Zoom to livecast and record events to improve access for those who cannot physically travel.

Specific envisioned research foci will include (but are not limited to):

  • empirical geovisualization design research (2-3D, static, animated and interactive, virtual and immersive, mobile, etc.)
  • the application of cognitive theories and methods to understanding visuo-spatial displays and tool use for inference and decision-making (including mental maps, space-time behavior, navigation, etc.)
  • the application of visuo-spatial displays and tools to understanding spatial cognition
  • spatial reasoning, inference and decision making with visuo-spatial displays and tools
  • cognitive principles supporting human-visualization interaction research
  • the linkages between cognition and emotion, and how these linkages may affect map use
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