Building a better mousetrap: Design considerations for the provision of appropriate interfaces for enhancing the access to and use of geographical information

Cartwright, W 2002, 'Building a better mousetrap: Design considerations for the provision of appropriate interfaces for enhancing the access to and use of geographical information', Cartography, vol. 31, pp. 77-86.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Building a better mousetrap: Design considerations for the provision of appropriate interfaces for enhancing the access to and use of geographical information
Author(s) Cartwright, W
Year 2002
Journal name Cartography
Volume number 31
Start page 77
End page 86
Total pages 10
Publisher Australian Institute of Cartographers
Abstract In the teaching of geography, the general method for the depiction of the attributes that combine to present a picture of the real world is to use the map metaphor. Whilst still an effective means for the portrayal of geographic information, the map metaphor can be enhanced using other metaphors, which can be readily delivered using contemporary technology and communications, including CD-ROM and Web resources. The use of just the map metaphor to access geographic information limits the flexibility particular users have in retrieving relevant and current data. Other metaphors have been discussed as possible adjuncts to the map metaphor and can be used in tandem with the traditional map metaphor to enhance the interface of the system. These can perhaps contribute to allowing users to appreciate the "Why?" element of spatial data. Whilst the map is an effective means of access, its use should not be considered in isolation. Interface designers working on appropriate access metaphors for geographical information have looked at things like multidimensional, immersive, 'inhabitable' virtual world 'space', and using it to convey the sense of space (concrete and abstract) as no other interface can. As geographic information products seek out a wider audience, many of whom can be considered to not be 'elite' scientific users or even 'map literate', other forms of access are of great interest to geographical educational package designers. This paper provides an overview of the issues that need to be addressed if proper evaluation of different geospatial information access and interaction tools is to be made. It proposes a number of areas where research is needed to ensure the use of New Media cartographic artifacts delivers appropriate and usable tools.
Subject Cartography
DOI - identifier 10.1080/00690805.2002.9714182
Copyright notice © 2002 Taylor and Francis
ISSN 0069-0805
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