Understanding and Modeling the Behavior of Web Map Users
Keywords: GIS, Performance Evaluation, User Behavior, Web Map Tile Services, WMTS, Workload Modeling
AbstractGeographic Information System (GIS) in general, and Web mapping systems in particular, have become part of our set of digital tools for regular usage similarly to a search engine, an online social network, or a messaging system. However, the literature still lacks works that investigate and model how users interact with these systems. The well-known Web user models are too general, and are unable to accurately represent some specific common actions, such as pan or zoom in a Web mapping system. In this article, we describe how a user interacts with a Web mapping system and present a methodology that we have designed to retrieve this information from a traditional system, the Google Maps. We also develop a synthetic descriptive model of the user's behavior and we employ this model to create a proof-of-concept workload generator. Finally, we make a performance evaluation with another real-world GIS, called goGeo, to compare our workload generator with a conventional benchmark application. This shows how adding user features can significantly change the effective workload imposed on a GIS, and how this implies that performance evaluations of these systems in the past have often been based on imprecise assumptions.
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