We live in an uncertain world. From weather events to financial markets, every day we are confronted with uncertainty. However, even experts have difficulty reasoning with uncertainty. Visualizations allow our visual systems to identify patterns in data that would otherwise go unnoticed. Visualizations can also help us focus on relevant data when making probabilistic judgments. Unfortunately, visualizing the uncertainty in complex phenomena such as hurricane forecasts can introduce new problems, as evidenced by the confusion associated with Hurricane Dorian's path. We study state-of-the-art uncertainty visualizations, along with the cognitive processes that lead to misunderstandings of forecast data.
- uncertainty visualization, measuring cognitive effort, theoretical models of decision making with visualizations, mental models of data, rainbow color maps, effects of binning continuous data, hurricane forecasting, hazard maps, metaphors
Uncertain about uncertainty: How qualitative expressions of forecaster confidence impact decision-making with uncertainty visualizations
Using Behavioral Insights to Improve Disaster Preparedness, Early Warning and Response Mechanisms in Haiti (English)
Visualizing uncertain tropical cyclone predictions using representative samples from ensembles of forecast tracks
*Downloads: Supplementary Materials, Visualization technique code, and User study analysis R code + data