Evans Authors: Ann Bostrom

Hazard maps are used to communicate complex scientific data with many audiences during volcanic unrest crises, but it is unclear how common hazard visualisation styles affect cognition, behaviour, and decision-making. Here we use eye-gaze tracking and questionnaires to explore how 81 people near a volcano in New Zealand read and make decisions with hazard maps for a hypothetical eruption. The results show how map visualisation can influence cognition, decision-making, and behaviour, and have implications for crisis communication. Additionally, we find that providing simple tasks for the audience to carry out using the maps, and showing safe areas alongside hazardous areas, may encourage map reading.