Developing map symbol standards through an iterative collaboration process
Geographic information is commonly disseminated and consumed via visual representations of features and their environmental context on maps. Map design inherently involves generalizing reality, and one method by which mapmakers do so is through the use of symbols to represent features. Here we focus on the challenges associated with supporting mapmakers who need to work together to reach consensus on standardizing their map symbols. On the basis of a needs assessment study with mapmakers at the US Department of Homeland Security, we designed a new, mixed-method symbol standardization process that takes place through a web-based, asynchronous platform. A study to test this new standardization process with mapmakers at DHS revealed that our process allowed participants to identify many issues related to symbol design, meaning, and categorization. The approach elicited sustained, iterative engagement and critical thinking from participants, and results from a poststudy survey indicate that participants found it to be useful and usable. Results from our study and user feedback allow us to suggest multiple ways in which our approach and platform can be improved for future applications. Keywords: symbology, map design, category development, collaboration
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:39:y:2012:i:6:p:1034-1048. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.