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SI 622: Evaluation of Systems & Services Winter 2008

Survey

Project Client: Syntax2D Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning University of Michigan

Tao Dong Maureen Hanratty Adam Torres Lingyun Xu


|  Table of contents

Syntax 2.0: Survey  |

Table of Contents Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Overview of Syntax2D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Target Population. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Survey Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Sample & Recruitment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Invitation & Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Pilot Test & Modification. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Survey Questions Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Research Limitations & Biases . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Appendix Survey Questionnaire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Survey Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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Survey for Syntax2D Executive Summary Product and Goals

This report documents the results of a survey distributed to potential users of Syntax2D, an open source spatial analysis software program developed by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. The primary goal of this survey is to collect a set of both quantitative and qualitative data from the users of space syntax software tools. The findings along with the recommendations will guide future changes in the software’s development. Methods The team formulated the survey goals and created an online survey instrument based on the goals. The survey was piloted with the project coordinator of Syntax2D. After pilot testing, the survey was distributed via email message to 126 of the 6th Space Syntax Symposium presenters, 439 space syntax listserv subscribers, four non-University of Michigan space syntax researchers recommended by the client, and seven University of Michigan space syntax researchers. The survey was open for a total of thirteen days from Feburary 29 through March 12, 2008. The team conducted the survey analysis based on the 55 completed responses received from approximately 571 survey recipients.

Findings and Recommendations Findings were categorized into four areas corresponding with the survey goals: 1. The space syntax software tools researchers use and how often they are used. 2. The perceived usefulness of Syntax2D and how it compared with another space syntax software tool, Depthmap. 3. The perceived usability of Syntax2D and how it compared with another space syntax software tool, Depthmap. 4. The perceived satisfaction with Syntax2D and how it compared with another space syntax software tool, Depthmap. Based on survey findings the research team generated six recommendations: three that will improve the usefulness or Syntax2D and three that will improve the usability of Syntax2D: Improve usefulness: 1. Provide strong support for axial line analysis, the most frequently used analysis by survey participants. This may include incorporating auto-generation of axial lines. 2. Add segment analysis feature. This feature was rated as most or very important by half of the respondents. 3. Allow integration with GIS software. Two possible ways to integrate Syntax2D with GIS


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|  Syntax 2.0: Survey

systems are: 1. develop plug-ins for major GIS systems or, 2. create a file format that is interchangeable with GIS systems. Improve usability: 1. Layers in .DXF files should be automatically recognized when imported into the system. 2. Improve display of measures. Syntax 2D should make the measure legible and provide a way for users to view multiple measures at a once. 3. Enhance user accessibility to help information. Syntax 2D should Provide local help and user manuals. Context-sensitive help messages could also be added to offer timely help to users.

Introduction

This report describes the creation, deployment and results of a survey distributed to potential users of Syntax2D from February 29, to March 12, 2008. Syntax2D is an open source software suite for urban and architectural spatial analysis developed at the Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning (TCAUP) at the University of Michigan. The report begins with an overview of Syntax 2D. Next, the survey goals are stated. An overview of the methodologies are given in the third section of the report. The methodology section covers survey sample and recruitment, invitation and administration and pilot test and modification. An overview of the survey questions is presented (the original survey instrument is included in the appendix). Survey findings detail response rates and demographics of survey respondents. Additional findings are organized by each of the original survey goals. Recommendations for future development of

Syntax2D based on survey findings are given followed by a discussion of research limitations and biases of the survey.

Overview of Syntax2D

Syntax2D is an open source spatial analysis software program developed by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. It is a suite of tools for researchers and practitioners to analyze spatial configuration of buildings and urban spaces. Syntax2D features isovist, grid, and axial analysis as well as path analysis and counting features intended to assist with field research. Measures such as connectivity, integration and mean depth can be visualized on a grid and also exported to an Excel spreadsheet as quantitative data. Source files for Syntax2D are computer-aided design (CAD) drawings in the 2000 .DXF format.

Target Population

The target population was the world wide community of space syntax researchers using space syntax software tools. Space syntax is an esoteric research field of architecture and urban planning. The geographically dispersed membership relies on bi-annual space syntax conferences and a single listserv to keep up with research and advancements in the field. According to the client almost all people conducting research or practicing space syntax in industry are on the space syntax listserv as it is the only way for individuals to know what is going on in the field. Distributing the survey on the listserv gave the research team high confidence that they could reach a representative sample of the space syntax community.


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Survey Goals

The primary goal of this survey is to collect a set of both quantitative and qualitative data from the users of space syntax software tools. The information gathered will provide an overview of the user base and potential user base for Syntax2D, outline the current market shared by various space syntax software tools, disclose the strengths and weaknesses of the space syntax software tools (focused on Syntax2D and Depthmap), and suggest the future directions for Syntax2D development. Specific survey goals are: 1. Determine which space syntax software tools researchers use and how often are they used. 2. Assess the perceived usefulness of Syntax2D and other space syntax software tools. 3. Assess the perceived usability of Syntax2D and Depthmap. 4. Assess the reported satisfaction with Syntax2D and Depthmap.

Methodology

Sample & Recruitment The research team targeted the survey to space syntax researchers at institutions from around the world. The research team collected a list of names, email addresses, and affiliated institutions from papers presented at the June 2007 6th Space Syntax Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey. Originally contact information was collected for 181 symposium presenters however, due to political reasons, the research team excluded all presenters from The Bartlett School at the University College of London leaving a remainder of 126 symposium presenters. The

University College of London developed Depthmap, the main competitor to Space Syntax2D, and our client needed time to discuss whether or not to include this population in our survey. After consulting with a University of Michigan professor who received her PhD at the University College of London and was part of the space syntax research community there, the client gave the research team permission to distribute the survey to the wider space syntax community, including University College of London researchers, via the space syntax mailbase LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK. There are 439 subscribers to this listserv. Additionally the survey was distributed to four professors from U.S. universities that are close contacts with the client. The research team requested that these professors forward the survey to colleagues and students at their university. Finally the survey was emailed to seven University of Michigan space syntax researchers. The total number of survey recipients was approximately 571, but with the following caveats: 1) there is almost definitely overlap between the 126 symposium presenters and the 439 space syntax mailbase subscribers and 2) it is not known who or how many participants received the survey via an email forward. Invitation & Administration Participants were emailed through a team gmail account (syntaxteam@gmail.com) that stated the team’s affiliation, a purpose statement about the survey, and an estimated amount of time to complete the survey. In addition, the survey contained an introduction that also stated the research team’s affiliation and provided information about Syntax2D. The survey introduction stated the estimated time to complete the survey and informed the participant that their responses would be kept confidential. No incentives were given for filling


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out the survey. Our online survey was created using a free online survey tool called SurveyGizmo. A URL link to the survey was distributed to survey participants via an email message. The survey was open for a total of thirteen days from February 29th at 12:00PM EST to March 12 at 12:00PM EST. The survey was sent to the four nonUniversity of Michigan professors and seven University of Michigan space syntax researchers on February 29th, and the 126 symposium presenters on March 4th. The research team sent two rounds of reminders to these survey participants. The survey was distributed to the space syntax mailbase on March 10 at 1:23PM EST closing 2 days later. Pilot Test & Modification The survey was piloted with one professor at the University of Michigan Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning and the project coordinator for Syntax2D. The project coordinator suggested a few changes concerning wording of questions and answers, which implemented prior to the survey being deployed. On March 4th the research team received an email from a survey participant who was unable to advance to the second page of the survey because he had not filled out a required question. It is the research team’s belief that the participant could not correct his mistake because the version of the online survey tool used did not flag incomplete required questions. Therefore on March 4th at approximately 9:00PM EST the research team changed approximately three to four questions from required to optional and added another answer possibility, which was ‘other.’ Although the research team did not record which questions were changed from required to optional, it is

believed that this will have little effect on results because the questions remained the same. On March 10th the research team received recommendations concerning changes to our survey by the professor who originally piloted our survey. The reason for such a delayed response from the original pilot tester was because she was traveling internationally. The research team decided not to implement the changes she suggested in order to salvage the responses already collected.

Survey Questions Overview

The survey questions were oriented to spatial syntax specialists using any spatial syntax software tools but with a focus on the users of Syntax 2D and Depthmap, the primary competitor of Syntax 2D. The survey consists of three types of questions: multiple choice questions, open questions and Likert scale questions. The diversity of products used by the respondents were appropriately considered with either providing an “other” option for multiple choices questions or making product-specific questions optional. The survey questions covered three areas of information. In the first part of the survey, the questions were designed to understand user behavior in order to identify the market share of each tool, frequency of usage, the task-product match, the ease of use, interaction patterns, etc. In the second part of the survey, the questions were used to gather information about user attitudes (e.g. satisfaction and preference of each function) towards both Syntax 2D and DepthMap. The last part of the survey collected user characteristics data such as demographic distribution, context of usage and computer literacy.


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This section presents findings from the survey. Response results and demographic data are covered, then findings for the survey are grouped by relevant survey goal. Results for each question in the survey can be found in the appendix.

above and the very few number of days (2) the survey was available after is was distributed through the space syntax mailbase. Possible explanations for abandoned and partial surveys include: 1. the survey was long due to multipart questions, 2. survey participants unfamiliar with Syntax2D may have abandoned the survey during the questions asking for data on that tool, and 3. the issue with required questions not being flagged if not properly filled out that was noted in the Methodology section.

Response Results

Demographics

The research team gathered 55 completed surveys; 22 surveys were abandoned and 39 surveys were saved but only partially complete. The response rate was highest on March 10th, the same day the survey was distributed through the space syntax mailbase. Survey participants came from 15 countries throughout the world. The country with most representation was the US (12) followed by Turkey (10). The United Kingdom had 7 respondents so it was underrepresented in the survey compared to the number of researchers believed to be located there. As stated in the methodology section, for political reasons, the survey was first distributed to researchers who were not faculty or students at the Bartlett School at the University of College London (UCL). Though surveys from some members of research community at the UCL were probably collected after the survey was distributed through the space syntax mailbase, members with close ties to UCL may have not filled out the survey because of its affiliation with Syntax2D.

Demographic information collected from survey participants was consistent with our interview findings. Almost all survey participants (96.36%) had completed a master’s degree or more education; more than half (56.36%) had obtained a Ph.D. or completed postdoctorate work. The majority of (54.55%) of survey participants were university faculty. Survey participants major or area of study/work was split between architecture (58.18%) and urban planning and urban design (54.55%). As conjectured survey participants were technology savvy: 67.28% reported spending over 6 hours a day on the computer. Windows operating system was installed on the primary computer of 92.73% of survey participants. The dominance of the Windows operating system correlates with participant’s usage of AutoCAD (80.77%), a Windows only application.

Please see the appendix to view the original survey instrument.

Findings

The research team surmises that a little fewer than 10% of the number of potential participants that received the survey completed it. Reasons for this low reporting rate include the issue with the UCL research community stated

Space Syntax software tool usage and frequency of use Survey results supported the research team’s comparative evaluation finding that the program Depthmap is the mostly widely used space syntax software tool (65%). Syntax2D is currently used by 16.36% of survey participants at a relatively low frequency: 7 out 12 respondents use Syntax2D less than 11 times


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per year. Frequency of use of other space syntax tools was higher than expected: nearly a quarter (26.8%) of respondents reported using Depthmap on a daily or weekly (1-6 times per week) basis over the last twelve months. An unexpected number of survey participants still used the software programs Confeego (31%) and Spatialist (29%). As these programs are further phased out, there might be some opportunity for Syntax2D to gain market share. Perceived usefulness of space syntax software tools Perceived usefulness, as defined by Fred Davis, is the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance (Davis, 1989). The research team determined usefulness by comparing analyses survey participants reported using in their research, to analyses available in Syntax2D and other software tools. Usefulness was also determined by looking at reports of satisfaction with analyses in Syntax2D and Depthmap. The most commonly used analyses were axial analysis (90%) and visibility graph analysis (66%). Segment analysis, which is not supported by Syntax2D, was the third most used analysis at 41.51%. Only eleven survey participants reported using path isovist analysis, a feature supported by Syntax2D but not by Depthmap. Survey participants reported conducting axial analysis using Syntax2D (7.9%), Depthmap (46%), and other programs (46%). Syntax2D doesn’t not perform as well as Depthmap on axial analysis: Syntax2d satisfies 30.8% but dissatisfies 23.1% of respondents, while Depthmap satisfies 66.7% but dissatisfies 6.1% of respondents. The lower satisfaction with Syntax2D in the ability to create axial lines may

be due to its inability to automatically generate axial lines. This confirms interview findings: two interviewees expressed their preference to use Depthmap to do axial line analysis because of the convenience of axial line auto-generation. For grid isovist analysis (used by 66.04% of participants) Syntax2D performs well but not as well as Depthmap: 84.9% of respondents were satisfied with the ability to create a grid isovist in Depthmap while 53.9% of respondents were satisfied with this feature in Syntax2D. Four comments speak highly of Syntax2D’s path analysis, path count, and point count features. In addition to auto-generation of axial lines, a feature rated “very important” to “most important” by 43.2% of respondents, survey participants would like Syntax2D to provide “integration with GIS software” (3 comments were related to GIS integration) and “analysis of convex spaces” (2 comments were related to convex spaces.) One participant commented that Syntax2D is “nice” but he cannot see “where the benefit is unless it does a whole lot of new stuff”. This discloses the fact that most of the features Syntax2D supports are already provided by other software tools. This may partly explain the relatively low usage of Sytnax2D. Perceived usability of space syntax software tools The Likert-Scale questions Q7 and Q8 were particularly geared to collecting users’ perceptions of the usability of Syntax 2D and DepthMap. The research team also obtained valuable comments about usability issues from the open questions: Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, Q16 and Q18. It was found that Syntax 2D is generally not difficult to use. Most of respondents (75%) agreed


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on the statement that “overall it is easy to use Syntax 2D.” And the simplicity of the interface of Syntax 2D was particularly commended by respondents. However, the survey also identified four areas of perceived usability issues that are described below.

Error Prevention and Diagnosis Syntax 2D does not do a good job of preventing users running into errors as well as diagnosing after errors have occurred. According to Q7, 17.6% users disagree and 11.8% users strongly disagree with the statement that “I do not make many mistakes or run into errors when using Syntax2D.” And after an error occurred, 29.4% users (17.6% strongly disagree and 11.8% disagree) cannot easily understand how to recover from the error. In contrast, respondents thought they encountered fewer errors with Depthmap and also got better aid to handle errors.

Measure Display Measure display was one of the problem areas most frequently reported by respondents. Responding to Q11 “Overall, what do you like least about Syntax2D,” one user said, “It is impossible to read the measure by just going onto a grid point. I requires [sic] to dig in the exported data, which is too tedious. If the data was organized as clusters that corresponds to each convex space, that could have been very useful.” This echoed the research team’s heuristic evaluation findings.

Layer (file) Import Users reported that they felt the file import process was too “restrictive”. The comment is consistent with the quantitative data from Q9 that 38.5% (5/13) were extremely dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied about Syntax2D’s ability to import files. Only 3% of respondents

however reported being “extremely dissatisfied” with Depthmap’s importing file functionality. At least four comments are related to the dissatisfaction with the ability to import file. In data collected from Q15 61.2% of participants rated adding the feature of “Auto Recognition of Layers” very important to important. The current implementation of Syntax2D requires users to specify layer names if they differ from default values.

Documentation and Help Users reported that they suffered from not being able to find useful documentation to help them understand how to use Syntax 2D and how to diagnose errors they encountered. One user complained that, “There is only online help.” And another user failed to fix a file-importing problem although the user had read the instruction thoroughly. Satisfaction with space syntax software tools More than half of the survey participants (53.9%) are satisfied with Syntax2D as an overall product, and only 15.4% of the respondents are dissatisfied with it. However, there is still a huge gap between Syntax2D and Depthmap: the latter gets satisfaction from 88.2% of respondents and dissatisfaction from only 2.9% of respondents. Prominent satisfaction is directed to the overall look and feel of Syntax2D (84.6% satisfaction and at least two comments speaking highly of Syntax2D’s interface), visual representation of measures (69.2% satisfaction), point isovist (66.7%), grid isovist (53.9% satisfaction), and the ability to choose measures (53.9% satisfaction). The ability to export data is rated as “extremely satisfied” by most respondents (33.3%).


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Recommendations

The following are the research teams’ recommendations for improving Syntax2D based on findings from the survey. They are divided by: 1. Recommendations that will improve the software’s usefulness to the space syntax community, and 2. Recommendations that will improve the usability of Syntax2D. Improve usefulness: 1. Provide strong support for axial line analysis, the most frequently used analysis by survey participants. This may include incorporating auto-generation of axial lines. 2. Add segment analysis feature. This feature was rated as most or very important by half of the respondents. 3. Allow integration with GIS software. Two possible ways to integrate Syntax2D with GIS systems are: 1. develop plug-ins for major GIS systems or, 2. create a file format that is interchangeable with GIS systems. Improve usability: 1. Layers in .DXF files should be automatically recognized when imported into the system. 2. Improve display of measures. Syntax 2D should make the measure legible and provide a way for users to view multiple measures at a once. 3. Enhance user accessibility to help information. Syntax 2D should Provide local help and user manuals. Context-sensitive help messages could also be added to offer timely help to users.

Research Limitations & Biases

The survey had a number of limitations, many

of which were already touched on in the report. For example, the very short period the survey was open after it was distributed through the space syntax listserv, the under-representation of the University College of London research community, and adjustments made to the survey after it was live. It is impossible to deem the data gathered on Syntax2D reliable when so few responses (ranging from 20 to 11) were collected for the questions related to participants experience with the software tool.

Conclusion

Though the survey sample was limited to 55 completed questionnaires, it successfully reached a diverse and overall representative sample of the space syntax community. Solid data was collected on the needs of space syntax software users. For example, the predominant use of axial analysis by survey participants should compel the Syntax2D development team to focus on this functionality. Survey participants confirmed usability issues uncovered in the heuristic evaluation of Syntax2D. Useful additional features for the tool were suggested including integration with GIS software and auto-generation of axial lines.

References

Davis, D. F. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319-340.


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|  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

Survey: Space Syntax Software Survey Status:

Launched

(survey active)

1. Introduction

We are conducting a short survey about space syntax software tools. This survey is part of a larger project to evaluate the usability of Syntax2D, an open source space syntax analysis software program developed at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning. The survey should take about 10 minutes and all your information will be kept confidential. Your input is greatly appreciated and will help us gather important data related to the use of space syntax software tools. Results of this survey may also be used to improve future versions of Syntax2D software. If you have any questions about this survey you may contact the evaluation team at syntaxgroup@umich.edu.

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10 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

^ top

2. User Behavior

1. What space syntax software programs have you used (check all that apply)? * Syntax2D DepthMap OmniVista Confeego Spatialist None Other

2. Which space syntax software programs do you currently use (check all that apply)? * Syntax2D DepthMap OmniVista Confeego Spatialist None Other

3. In the last 12 months, approximately how often have you used the following space syntax programs? Check all that apply. If you do not use one or any of the programs please select Not Applicable. Daily (at least once per day)

Weekly (1-6 times per wk)

Monthly (1-3 times a month)

Yearly (1-11 times per year)

Not Applicable

Syntax2D DepthMap OmniVista Confeego Spatialist Other

4. Generally what spatial syntax analyses do you use? (select all that apply)

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11 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

Grid Isovists (visibility graph analysis) Point Isovist Path Isovist Path count Point Count Axial analysis Segment analysis Agent analysis

5. Which program do you use for each of the following tasks (check all that apply)? Syntax 2D

DepthMap

Other

Grid Isovists (visibility graph analysis) Point Isovist Path Isovist Path count Point Count Axial analysis Segment analysis Agent analysis

6. What software tools do you use in conjunction with space syntax software (select all that apply)? AutoCAD Other CAD software (for example, Microstation) Microsoft Excel MapInfo Statistical Analysis Package (eg., SPSS, Stata, etc.) Image Editor (eg., Photoshop, Fireworks, etc.) Other

7. Based on your personal experience with Syntax2D, please rate the level of your agreement or disagreement with the following statements. Skip this question if you haven't used Syntax2D.

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12 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

Strongly disagree

Disagree

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Not Applicable

Overall Syntax2D is easy to use I found the interface (buttons, labels, colors) is clear and understandable I understand the instructions, headings, labels, messages and terms that are displayed to me in Syntax2D The first time I used Sytax2D, I was able to understand the system quickly I do not make many mistakes or run into errors when using Syntax2D When I encountered an error in Syntax2D, it was easy to understand what happened Help is easy to find in Syntax2D I often customize the Syntax2D workspace (for example, dragging the toolbar to the canvas) I use toolbars more than pull-downs It's difficult to move between Syntax2D and other programs

8. Based on your personal experience with Depthmap, please rate the level of your agreement or disagreement with the following statements. Skip this question if you haven't used Depthmap.

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13 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

^ top

3. User Attitude

9. Based on your personal experience with Syntax2D, please rate how you are satisfied with each of the following: Skip this question if you haven't used Syntax2D. Extremely Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Neutral

Somewhat Satisfied

Extremely Satisfied

Not Applicable

Ability to create Grid Isovist (visibility graph) Ability to create Point Isovist Ability to create Path Isovist Ability to create Path Count Ability to create Point Count Ability to create Axial Lines Ability to import file Ability to export data Ability to choose measures Visual representation of measures Overall look and feel of Syntax2D Overall satisfaction with Syntax2D

Do you have comments about the features listed in the previous question? (Optional)

10. Overall, what do you like most about Syntax2D? Skip this question if you haven't used Syntax2D.

11. Overall, what do you like least about Syntax2D? Skip this question if you haven't used Syntax2D.

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14 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

Strongly disagree

Disagree

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Not Applicable

Overall Depthmap is easy to use I found the interface (buttons, labels, colors) is clear and understandable I understand the instructions, headings, labels, messages and terms that are displayed to me in Depthmap The first time I used Depthmap, I was able to understand the system quickly I do not make many mistakes or run into errors when using Depthmap When I encountered an error in Depthmap, it was easy to understand what happened Help is easy to find in Depthmap I often customize the Depthmap workspace (for example, dragging the toolbar to the canvas) I use toolbars more than pull-downs It's difficult to move between Depthmap and other programs

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15 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

12. Based on your personal experience with Depthmap, please rate how you are satisfied with each of the following: Skip this question if you haven't used Depthmap. Extremely Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Neutral

Somewhat Satisfied

Extremely Satisfied

Not Applicable

Ability to create Grid Isovist (visibility graph) Ability to create Point Isovist Ability to create Axial Lines Ability to perform Agent Analysis Ability to perform Segment Analysis Ability to import file Ability to export data Ability to choose measures Visual representation of measures Overall look and feel of Depthmap Overall satisfaction with Depthmap

Do you have comments about the features listed in the previous question? (Optional)

13. Overall, what do you like most about Depthmap? Skip this question if you haven't used Depthmap.

14. Overall, what do you like least about Depthmap? Skip this question if you haven't used Depthmap.

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16 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

^ top

4. Syntax2D Experience

15. Following is a list of features that Syntax2D does not currently provide. Please rate the importance of these features for your needs: Most important

Very important

Important

Somewhat important

Not important

I am not familiar with this feature

Auto generation of Axial Lines Agent Analysis Segment Analysis 3D Isovist Analysis Auto recognition of file layers Data Layers

16. Are there any other features you would like Syntax2D to provide?

17. If you have heard or used Syntax2D, how did you first hear about it? (Check all that apply) Heard from colleagues/teachers Conference Journals Other

18. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your Syntax2D experience?

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17 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

^ top

5. User Characteristics

19. What is your gender? * Male Female

20. What's your age? *

21. What is the highest level of education you have completed? * Bachelor Master Ph.D. Post-doctorate

22. What is your occupation? (Select all that apply) * Student (Bachelors, Masters, PhD) Post-doctoral researcher University faculty Full or part time employed in a non-academic institution (for example: private consulting firm) Self-employed consultant Not currently employed or affiliated with an institution

23. What's your major or area of study/work? * Architecture Urban planning Other

24. Overall, how comfortable are you with using a computer for day-to-day tasks (for example, word processing, searching the internet, etc.)? * Very comfortable Somewhat comfortable Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable Somewhat uncomfortable Uncomfortable

25. How many hours do you work on computer on a typical day? *

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18 |  Appendix

SurveyGizmo: Practical Online Survey Software. Create web surveys easily!

http://app.sgizmo.com/surveybuilder/survey_editor.php?id=34575

0-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 13 or above

26. Which operating system is installed on your primary computer? * Windows Mac Linux Other

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19 |  Appendix

1. What space syntax software programs have you used (check all that apply)? DepthMap Confeego Spatialist Syntax2D MindWalk Axman OmniVista Netbox Webmap NewWave SpaceBox Pesh Akropolis Bandle Axwoman Ovation Ajanachara Meanda

73% 31% 29% 25% 18% 15% 7% 4%

Total Responses

7% 2% 4% 2% 2% 2% 5% 4% 2% 2%

55

Distribution of Space Syntax Software

2. Which space syntax software programs do you currently use (check all that apply)? DepthMap

65%

Confeego

25%

Spatialist

16%

Syntax2D

16%

MindWalk

18%

Axman Webmap

5%

Total Responses

4%

Pesh

2%

Axwoman

2%

Ajanachara

2%

Other

2% Distribution of Space Syntax Software Currently Used

55


20 |  Appendix

3. In the last 12 months, approximately how often have you used the following space syntax programs? Check all that apply. If you do not use one or any of the programs please select Not Applicable.

ITEM

Daily (at least once per day)

Weekly (1-6 times per wk)

Monthly (1-3 times a month)

Yearly (1-11 times per year)

Not Applicable

3.8%

15.4%

26.9%

34.6%

1

4

7

9

Syntax2D

TOTAL

21

7.3%

19.5%

36.6%

22.0%

12.2%

3

8

15

9

5

DepthMap

40

70.6% OmniVista

12 12 3.7%

11.1%

14.8%

18.5%

37.0%

1

3

4

5

10

4.5%

4.5%

27.3%

50.0%

1

1

6

11

3.6%

14.3%

21.4%

17.9%

32.1%

1

4

6

5

9

3.7%

9.9%

18.6%

19.9%

34.8%

Confeego

23

Spatialist

19

Other

Average %:

25


21 |  Appendix

4. Generally what spatial syntax analyses do you use? (select all that apply)

91%

Axial Analysis

66%

Grid Isovist

42%

Segment Analysis

36%

Point Isovist

Total Responses 23%

Agent Analysis

21%

Path Isovist

Path Count

6%

Point Count

6% Distribution of Syntax Analyses Used

55


22 |  Appendix

5. Which program do you use for each of the following tasks (check all that apply)? ITEM Grid Isovist (Visibility Graph Analysis)

Syntax2D

DepthMap

Other

9.3%

69.8%

20.9%

4

30

9

13.8%

58.6%

27.6%

4

17

8

33.3%

23.8%

42.9%

7

5

9

18.2%

27.3%

54.5%

2

3

6

18.2%

36.4%

45.5%

2

4

5

7.9%

46.0%

46.0%

5

29

29

10.7%

60.7%

28.6%

3

17

8

72.2%

27.8%

13

5

118.0

79.0

44

Point Isovist

30

Path Isovist

22

Path Count

12

Point Count

12

Axial Analysis

64

29

Segment Analysis

Agent Analysis

TOTAL

N/A

27

19


23 |  Appendix

6. What software tools do you use in conjunction with space syntax software (select all that apply)?

Autocad

79%

Microsoft Excel

58%

Image Editor

57%

Statistical Package

49% Total Responses

MapInfo

53

40%

Other CAD Software

30%

ArcGIS

11%

Other

11%

0%

8%

16%

24%

32%

40%

48%

56%

64%

72%

Distribution of Software Tools Used in Conjunction with Space Syntax Software

80%


24 |  Appendix

7. Based on your personal experience with Syntax2D, please rate the level of your agreement or disagreement with the following statements.

ITEM

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Not Applicabl e

25.0%

30.0%

20.0%

25.0%

5

6

4

5

5.9%

29.4%

11.8%

35.3%

17.6%

1

5

2

6

3

29.4%

17.6%

35.3%

17.6%

5

3

6

3

17.6%

23.5%

23.5%

17.6%

17.6%

3

4

4

3

3

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Overall Syntax2D is easy to use I found the interface (buttons, labels, colors) is clear and understandable

20

17

I understand the instructions, headings, labels, messages and terms that are displayed to me in Syntax2D

17

The first time I used Sytax2D, I was able to understand the system quickly

17

I do not make many mistakes or run into errors when using Syntax2D

11.8%

17.6%

29.4%

11.8%

11.8%

17.6%

2

3

5

2

2

3

When I encountered an error in Syntax2D, it was easy to understand what happened

17.6%

11.8%

35.3%

5.9%

11.8%

17.6%

3

2

6

1

2

3

5.9%

29.4%

23.5%

17.6%

5.9%

17.6%

1

5

4

3

1

3

41.2%

5.9%

17.6%

11.8%

23.5%

7

1

3

2

4

11.8%

23.5%

17.6%

17.6%

11.8%

17.6%

2

4

3

3

2

3

11.8%

23.5%

17.6%

29.4%

17.6%

2

4

3

5

3

11.6%

25.4%

16.8%

17.9%

19.1%

17

17

Help is easy to find in Syntax2D

I often customize the Syntax2D workspace (for example, dragging the toolbar to the canvas) I use toolbars more than pulldowns

17

17

17

It's difficult to move between Syntax2D and other programs Average %:

TOTAL

17

9.2%


25 |  Appendix

8. Based on your personal experience with DepthMap, please rate the level of your agreement or disagreement with the following statements.

ITEM

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Not Applicabl e

5.1%

10.3%

61.5%

20.5%

2.6%

2

4

24

8

1

5.1%

7.7%

5.1%

56.4%

23.1%

2.6%

2

3

2

22

9

1

12.8%

17.9%

53.8%

12.8%

2.6%

5

7

21

5

1

7.7%

12.8%

33.3%

33.3%

10.3%

2.6%

3

5

13

13

4

1

18.4%

21.1%

42.1%

15.8%

2.6%

7

8

16

6

1

5.1%

17.9%

28.2%

38.5%

5.1%

5.1%

2

7

11

15

2

2

7.9%

28.9%

26.3%

21.1%

10.5%

5.3%

3

11

10

8

4

2

10.3%

35.9%

23.1%

12.8%

5.1%

12.8%

4

14

9

5

2

5

2.6%

18.4%

26.3%

31.6%

18.4%

2.6%

1

7

10

12

7

1

10.5%

26.3%

23.7%

26.3%

10.5%

2.6%

4

10

9

10

4

1

4.9%

18.4%

21.5%

37.8%

13.2%

4.1%

Strongly disagree

Overall DepthMap is easy to use I found the interface (buttons, labels, colors) is clear and understandable

39

39

I understand the instructions, headings, labels, messages and terms that are displayed to me in DepthMap The first time I used DepthMap, I was able to understand the system quickly

39

39

I do not make many mistakes or run into errors when using DepthMap When I encountered an error in DepthMap, it was easy to understand what happened Help is easy to find in DepthMap I often customize the DepthMap workspace (for example, dragging the toolbar to the canvas) I use toolbars more than pulldowns

It's difficult to move between DepthMap and other programs Average %:

TOTAL

38

39

38

39

38

38


26 |  Appendix

9. Based on your personal experience with Syntax2D, please rate how you are satisfied with each of the following: Extremely Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Ability to create Grid Isovist (visibility graph)

15.4% 2

Ability to create Point Isovist Ability to create Path Isovist

16.7%

Ability to create Path Count

ITEM

Somewhat Satisfied

Extremely Satisfied

Not Applicable

7.7%

38.5%

15.4%

23.1%

1

5

2

3

8.3%

50.0%

16.7%

25.0%

1

6

2

3

8.3%

25.0%

16.7%

33.3%

2

1

3

2

4

9.1%

9.1%

27.3%

9.1%

45.5%

1

1

3

1

5

18.2%

27.3%

9.1%

45.5%

2

3

1

5

Neutral

TOTAL

13

12

12

11

Ability to create Point Count

11

Ability to create Axial Lines

15.4%

7.7%

15.4%

15.4%

15.4%

30.8%

2

1

2

2

2

4

Ability to import file

30.8%

7.7%

7.7%

23.1%

23.1%

7.7%

4

1

1

3

3

1

Ability to export data

8.3%

16.7%

16.7%

8.3%

33.3%

16.7%

1

2

2

1

4

2

30.8%

30.8%

23.1%

15.4%

4

4

3

2

13

13

12

Ability to choose measures

13

Visual representation of measures

7.7%

15.4%

53.8%

15.4%

7.7%

1

2

7

2

1

Overall look and feel of Syntax2D

7.7%

69.2%

15.4%

7.7%

1

9

2

1

13

13

Overall satisfaction with Syntax2D

15.4%

23.1%

46.2%

7.7%

7.7%

2

3

6

1

1

Average %:

10.1%

12.1%

34.9%

16.8%

21.5%

13

4.7%


27 |  Appendix

9b. Do you have comments about the features listed in the previous question? (Optional) I chose N/A option for the path-isovist related question, because I haven't tried that feature yet. But I will, soon. I have not used Syntax2D because I was UNABLE to open a DXF file! (in Windows Vista OS environment), despite the fact I have read the instruction thoroughly! I've not totally use but this program very useful more than Deathmap I'd like to be able to draw out paths, axial lines, and such in Syntax2D itself. I think it's also important to be able to generate an axial map by algorithm. 10. Overall, what do you like most about Syntax2D? Skip this question if you haven't used Syntax2D. Point count, and path count features. And the grid points starts from the inner walls, not exceeding the inner wall boundaries. That it gives you a visual of the isovist, either by point or for the whole path Path analysis isovist space solutions Small do-it-all program with simple interface. I like what is coming next. Also, its calculations are based on polygon isovists (albeit supported by approximate algorithms for isovist calculations The fact that the source code is open is very, very promising. I like the idea of path isovists, too. And I appreciate being able to select and copy out measures pretty easily (in comparison with Depthmap's mouse-over display of a measure). It has a very simple interface. 11. Overall, what do you like least about Syntax2D? Skip this question if you haven't used Syntax2D. It is impossible to read the measure by just going onto a grid point. I requires to dig in the exported data, which is too tedious. If the data was organized as clusters that corresponds to each convex space, that could have been very useful. How you can import and export files. That it is hard to define paths. 1. Does not run on Mac OSX. 2. On a Windows machine consistently unable to import even simple files for isovist analysis for reasons we don't understand. The interpretation of results and lack of explanation about using the program. There is only online help, which includes the guide book. It is surprisingly difficult to get a map correctly exported from Microstation, Vectorworks or even Autocad into Syntax 2D.


28 |  Appendix

12. Based on your personal experience with DepthMap, please rate how you are satisfied with each of the following: ITEM

Extremely Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Neutral

Somewhat Satisfied

Extremely Satisfied

Not Applicable

3.0%

6.1%

57.6%

27.3%

6.1%

1

2

19

9

2

3.2%

3.2%

51.6%

25.8%

16.1%

1

1

16

8

5

6.1%

12.1%

39.4%

27.3%

15.2%

2

4

13

9

5

6.7%

3.3%

10.0%

36.7%

13.3%

30.0%

2

1

3

11

4

9

6.3%

9.4%

25.0%

34.4%

25.0%

2

3

8

11

8

3.0%

3.0%

12.1%

48.5%

30.3%

3.0%

1

1

4

16

10

1

2.9%

17.6%

14.7%

38.2%

23.5%

2.9%

1

6

5

13

8

1

8.8%

20.6%

55.9%

11.8%

2.9%

3

7

19

4

1

2.9%

11.8%

58.8%

23.5%

2.9%

1

4

20

8

1

5.9%

8.8%

55.9%

26.5%

2.9%

2

3

19

9

1

2.9%

5.9%

67.6%

20.6%

2.9%

1

2

23

7

1

5.8%

10.5%

48.9%

24.0%

9.7%

Ability to create Grid Isovist (visibility graph)

33

Ability to create Point Isovist

31

Ability to create Agent Analysis

Ability to create Segment Analysis

33

30

Ability to create Axial Lines

32

Ability to import file

Ability to export data

33

34

Ability to choose measures

34

Visual representation of measures

34

Overall look and feel of DepthMap

34

Overall satisfaction with DepthMap Average %:

TOTAL

34

1.1%


29 |  Appendix

12b. Do you have comments about the features listed in the previous question? (Optional) I attempted using depthmap but i could not manage on my own. please evaluate my replies to the previous questions accordingly. In addition, I use confeego very limitedly; I do not have enough knowledge or experience since I tried to learn it on my own again. I wish clear instructions about the pros and cons of updating to a newer version were regularly given. does most things one would need, and is extensible if you need new measures

13. Overall, what do you like most about Depthmap? Skip this question if you haven't used Depthmap. Ability to read the measure value and coordinates when the cursor goes on to a grid point. Also, it is possible to get the average value of the measures associated with a group of grid points, and possible to generate point isovist (step depth) selecting a number of grid points as a "vantage region" instead of "vantage point" Easy to use , measures and ďŹ ndings. Graphic quality The easy-to-use and easy-to-explain interface There is an extensive help manual offered by the programmer speed, intuitive UI, scalability, Depthmap brings together a wide range of modeling techniques and measures, and Alasdair Turner is very good about adding in the latest from the Space Syntax Symposia. It is easy to handle. a solid stand alone package with many years of development. does many types of analysis in one environment. new features keep being added to it. Vide range of various analyses Ease of use and conceptual advance in thinking of isovists as discrete sets; also in more recent versions, the ability to write macros and computational routines


30 |  Appendix

14. Overall, what do you like least about DepthMap? Skip this question if you haven't used DepthMap. Some features got too complicated. I even don't know what some of the measures mean. Bugs that make the software run into errors Terms are difficult to understand. There should be terminology section which explains The differences among versions (i.e. change in graphic appearance, availability of tools and tasks etc. It you cannot click on the point and see the values of the entire list of measures Not able to use with ArcGIS 9.x. Not able to maintain geographic coordinate system between input and output files it would be good to be able to handle the third dimension fully, also to integrate areal measures. lack of explanation about result's interpretation My work involves VGA for very large, highly detailed spaces, and I'm now to the point of needing to use a supercomputer, or at least a cluster. The fact that the Depthmap code is so closed and protected means that I can't use it on faster, parallel systems. Also, I find it frustrating to have to manually extract measures for points or areas. Oftentimes I'll instead take the time to export to a MapInfo file, convert that file to a shapefile, and then do my analysis in ArcGIS instead. The button could not be used when I do some links, and I have to use the keyboard. some of the operations are performed in a sequence that is not intuitive. the user manual hasn't been updated in a long time. it is highly academic with features that only a restricted group of people knows what they are, and are normally ignored. That the buttons change too much for each new version missing possibilities to experiment with mathematical calculations(put in mathematical formulas) Does not allow analysis of courtyards (essentially does not allow asymmetrical definition of visibility relations)


31 |  Appendix

15. Following is a list of features that Syntax2D does not currently provide. Please rate the importance of these features for your needs:

ITEM

Auto generation of Axial Lines

Most Important

Very Important

Important

Somewhat Important

Not Important

I am not familiar with this feature

24.3%

18.9%

27.0%

8.1%

13.5%

8.1%

9

7

10

3

5

3

5.9%

20.6%

20.6%

20.6%

11.8%

20.6%

2

7

7

7

4

7

34.3%

17.1%

11.4%

8.6%

14.3%

14.3%

12

6

4

3

5

5

20.0%

28.6%

17.1%

14.3%

11.4%

8.6%

7

10

6

5

4

3

16.7%

30.6%

30.6%

5.6%

8.3%

8.3%

6

11

11

2

3

3

34.4%

15.6%

28.1%

6.3%

6.3%

9.4%

38

Agent Analysis

35

Segment Analysis

36

3D Isovist Analysis

Auto recognition of ďŹ le layers

TOTAL

36

37

Data Layers

33 11

5

9

2

2

3

47

46

47

22

23

24


32 |  Appendix

9

16. Are there any other features you would like Syntax2D to provide? Ability to read the measures without going into the exported data, or extracting the data as organized on the basis of convex spaces, (This is probably harder to achieve with the existing programming language). Integration with GIS software Auto generation of convex break-ups Be compatible with ArcGIS 9.x. Currently its use in urban context is limited analysis of convex spaces (like pesh) 1. A Mac OSX version, or otherwise a Java version. 2. Easier, less restrictive file import. export table to gis softwares with ID of each axial line... I have a very long list if additions I would like to see in future versions. John Peponis wrote a long white paper on this very subject followed by responses from Psarra and Turner. shapefile support for import/export - drawing paths and axial lines Better integration with CAD-apps.


33 |  Appendix

17. If you have heard or used Syntax2D, how did you first hear about it? (Check all that apply)

44%

Collegues / teachers

37%

Conference

22%

Mailing list

12%

Journals

Internet

Total Responses

2% Distribution of How People Heard about Syntax2D

41


34 |  Appendix

18. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your Syntax2D experience? BOUNDARY set up instruction is not clear. I strongly endorse the main ambition of this project: to provide a simple space syntax tool that is accessible to as many people as possible. But to me that implies it should NOT be Windows-only and the file import process should be much less restrictive. I haven't had any really - I opened it once and played with it - nice... but not clear where the benefit is unless it does a whole lot of new stuff. I was [and still am] really exited about this project. But the actual experience was very disappointing. It is far from ready tot get real-life work done.


35 |  Appendix

19. What is your gender?

Female 36%

Male 64%

Total Responses

55


36 |  Appendix

20. What is your age? 24 25

4% 2%

27

4%

28

11%

29 30

4% 2%

31

4%

32

4%

33 34

7% 2%

35

4%

36

5%

37

9%

38

5%

40

4%

41

2%

45

2%

46

2%

47

5%

49

5%

50

5%

54

2%

56

2%

58 60

4% 2% Distribution of Age

Total Responses

55


37 |  Appendix

21. What is the highest level of education you have completed?

Master

40%

Ph.D.

40%

Post-Doctorate

16% Total Responses

Bachelor

55

4% Distribution of Education

22. What is your occupation? (Select all that apply) University Faculty

55%

Private Consulting Firm

24%

Student

24%

Post-doctoral researcher

5%

Self-employed consultant

5%

Total Responses

Distribution of Occupation

55


38 |  Appendix

23. What!s your major or area of study / work? Architecture

58%

Urban Planning

51%

Urban Design Archaeology Total Responses

Cognitive Science

55

Geography Research Distribution of Specialties

24. Overall, how comfortable are you with using a computer for day-to-day tasks?

93%

Very Comfortable

Total Responses

Somewhat Comfortable

7%

Distribution of comfort in using a computer

55


39 |  Appendix

25. How many hours do you work on a computer on a typical day? 0-2

2% Total Responses

55

24%

3-5

6-8

9-12

13 or above Distribution of hours per day using a computer

Windows

93%

Total Responses

Macintosh

20%

Distribution of Operating Systems Used (some users use both)

55


40 |  Appendix

Responses from Around the World United States 21.8%

Other 7.3% Algeria 1.8% Israel 1.8% Japan 1.8% China 1.8% Greece 1.8% Spain 1.8% Portugal 1.8% Germany 1.8% Sweden 1.8% Mexico 1.8%

Turkey 18.2%

Netherlands 9.1%

Brazil 12.7%

United Kingdom 12.7%

Total Responses

55


Survey for Syntax2D