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Predotova, Ilona, 2011. Empirical evaluation of alternative cartographic solutions for the user interface of Abisko GIS . Second cycle, A1E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology



Over the last 15 years there has been a rapid increase in the development and usage of digital maps. Methods for assessing the quality of systems for communicating digital geographical information are frequently described in the literature, but few methods have been empirically evaluated. The quality of cartographic products is especially important for resources management and environmental planning, although it may be important in all application areas where spatial information is used. When designing digital communicative systems, it is crucially important to base system development on empirical interactions with potential users.

In this thesis, empirical methods were used to develop a geographic information system (GIS) for environmental research and monitoring in the Arctic – the Abisko GIS. Approximately 30 potential users were interviewed via a questionnaire while testing a number of alternative interfaces to Abisko GIS. This allowed the qualities of alternative cartographic solutions to be evaluated and the optimal combination of cartographic objects to be implemented in Abisko GIS.

Through statistical inference of the questionnaires, it was concluded that Map Design had the greatest effect on subjects during their evaluation. Gender and the Time spent with evaluation had no significant effect, although Time appeared to play some role for experts and those with experience of GIS. On average, the response to questions asked regarding particular aspects of maps varied diminutively across subjects. Other observations are discussed in the text.

Main title:Empirical evaluation of alternative cartographic solutions for the user interface of Abisko GIS
Authors:Predotova, Ilona
Supervisor:Thierfelder, Tomas
Examiner:De Toro, Alfredo
Series:Examensarbete / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2011:06
Year of Publication:2011
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:cartography, GIS, digital map interface, artistic versus scientific approach, geo-visualisation, empirical testing, statistical inference
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Geography
Deposited On:23 May 2011 09:39
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:19

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