Visual traffic sweeps (VTS): a research method for mapping user activities in the library space

Lisa Given, Heather Archibald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The visual traffic sweeps (VTS) approach combines traditional observational methods for assessing library space with geographic information system (GIS) visualization techniques. This unique approach to spatial analysis can be used across library and information settings (or in other spaces with large amounts of human traffic) to map patterns in user behavior. Results of the visual analyses can be triangulated with other methods (e.g., questionnaires or interviews) to better inform library policy and space planning decisions. Findings from a study that used VTS in the business library of a large, urban university illustrate the potential application of this technique across library settings. Specific findings (e.g., patrons' preferences for certain spaces for laptop use, despite the library reserving other space for laptops) demonstrate the power of visualization techniques for analyzing results in ways that are not possible with standard statistical analysis approaches. In addition, the visual maps that result from the analysis process are useful for the presentation of visual data in conference presentations and/or to library stakeholders. Overall, this approach provides evidence for space planning decisions that are grounded in users' real activities within the library space.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)100-108
    Number of pages9
    JournalLibrary & Information Science Research
    Volume37
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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    research method
    traffic
    visualization
    Visualization
    Planning
    process analysis
    planning
    Geographic information systems
    statistical analysis
    Statistical methods
    information system
    stakeholder
    questionnaire
    university
    interview
    evidence
    Industry

    Cite this

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    abstract = "The visual traffic sweeps (VTS) approach combines traditional observational methods for assessing library space with geographic information system (GIS) visualization techniques. This unique approach to spatial analysis can be used across library and information settings (or in other spaces with large amounts of human traffic) to map patterns in user behavior. Results of the visual analyses can be triangulated with other methods (e.g., questionnaires or interviews) to better inform library policy and space planning decisions. Findings from a study that used VTS in the business library of a large, urban university illustrate the potential application of this technique across library settings. Specific findings (e.g., patrons' preferences for certain spaces for laptop use, despite the library reserving other space for laptops) demonstrate the power of visualization techniques for analyzing results in ways that are not possible with standard statistical analysis approaches. In addition, the visual maps that result from the analysis process are useful for the presentation of visual data in conference presentations and/or to library stakeholders. Overall, this approach provides evidence for space planning decisions that are grounded in users' real activities within the library space.",
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    Visual traffic sweeps (VTS) : a research method for mapping user activities in the library space. / Given, Lisa; Archibald, Heather.

    In: Library & Information Science Research, Vol. 37, No. 2, 04.2015, p. 100-108.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T2 - a research method for mapping user activities in the library space

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    AU - Archibald, Heather

    N1 - Includes bibliographical references.

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    AB - The visual traffic sweeps (VTS) approach combines traditional observational methods for assessing library space with geographic information system (GIS) visualization techniques. This unique approach to spatial analysis can be used across library and information settings (or in other spaces with large amounts of human traffic) to map patterns in user behavior. Results of the visual analyses can be triangulated with other methods (e.g., questionnaires or interviews) to better inform library policy and space planning decisions. Findings from a study that used VTS in the business library of a large, urban university illustrate the potential application of this technique across library settings. Specific findings (e.g., patrons' preferences for certain spaces for laptop use, despite the library reserving other space for laptops) demonstrate the power of visualization techniques for analyzing results in ways that are not possible with standard statistical analysis approaches. In addition, the visual maps that result from the analysis process are useful for the presentation of visual data in conference presentations and/or to library stakeholders. Overall, this approach provides evidence for space planning decisions that are grounded in users' real activities within the library space.

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