Empirical Assessment of the Suitability of Visual Variables to Achieve Notarial Tasks Established from 3D Condominium Models

  • Jacynthe Pouliot
  • Chen Wang
  • Frédéric Hubert
  • Vivien Fuchs
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


This study investigates the preference and the performance of certain visual variables (color hue and saturation, value, texture) and visual enhancement techniques (adding labels, moving elements, transparency) for achieving specific notarial tasks involving a 3D cadastral model. The case study is a complex condominium building modeled in 3D on which six notarial tasks are explored (viewing the geometric limits of the 3D lots, locating a specific 3D lot inside the building, distinguishing the 3D lot and the associated building, distinguishing the private and common parts of the condominium, understanding certain spatial relationships). The approach is based on face-to-face interviews with notaries using various prebuilt 3D geometric models of the condominium displayed on a computer screen. From various visual variables and visual enhancement techniques, notaries had to answer specific questions like “how many lots do you see”. Depending on the notary’s response the variable is marked as performing successful when verification is available or preferred when only a subjective and professional opinion is available. The preliminary results based on four interviews show that color is the visual variable most appreciated by notaries, regardless of the 3D visualization task. The use of transparency is helpful only in few cases, specifically when reading annotation (official measures). However, confusion arises when too extensive a geometry of 3D lots is viewed simultaneously, unnecessary when the geometry of the lots is fully visible. Moving the position of the geometry of a group of lots (by floor for example) also seems promising and adding elements appears to be required. Furthermore, an explicit comparison is proposed between our results and three main references about graphic semiology (Bertin, Carpendale and Ware). This comparison enables us to verify our results and to assess whether the fitness of visual variables is specific to notarial tasks and 3D visualisation (compared to 2D plans). Although this interview-based approach is subjective and empirical, it helps us better consider the end-user’s interests and take into consideration their professional opinion and requirements. At the same time, this study was an excellent and unique promotional platform concerning 3D cadastral modeling. As well, the 30 visual solutions produced during these first experiments constitute a useful foundation for further analysis.


3D symbolization and cartography Semiology Visual variables User’s requirements 3D cadastre Notarial tasks 



We would sincerely thank the notaries who participated in the interviews (Guy Delisle, Jean-Claude Simard, Francois Brochu) and Michel Bédard from the Groupe VRSB for providing the original datasets of the condominium. We would also thank Marc Vasseur, a master degree student, for helping in the validation the visual solutions. Finally, we express our gratitude to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council for funding this research program.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacynthe Pouliot
    • 1
  • Chen Wang
    • 1
  • Frédéric Hubert
    • 1
  • Vivien Fuchs
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geomatics SciencesUniversité LavalQuebec CityCanada
  2. 2.École Supérieure des Géomètres et TopographesLe MansFrance

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