Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Mary Fendley (Advisor), Subhashini Ganapathy (Committee Member), Yan Liu (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


A key intelligence analyst role in open source search is the transformation of data into understanding. Better comprehension is needed of how new tools impact the analyst search process. The use of function analysis, heuristic analysis, and a usability study combine to provide the basis for developing an analyst process model, which affords the researcher with a structure to measure the impact of tools and expertise in performing a search task. The experiment utilized representative analyst scenario tasks in comparing baseline tools with the Geospatial Open Search Toolkit (GOST). The results show error rates increase when using a new toolset due to unfamiliarity with system affordances. Lack of toolset familiarity impacted participant output and time on task breakdown. Opportunities exist both for additional novice process training as well as more time for experts to acclimatize to new toolsets.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded