Table of contents
Chapter 1

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URLs referred to in this chapter
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Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Appendix
Web access
Classification of web maps
What makes web maps special?
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The World Wide Web (WWW) is the most recent new medium to present and disseminate geospatial data. In this process the map plays a key role, and has multiple functions. Maps can play the traditional role of providing insight into geospatial patterns and relations. Under these circumstances maps are used as they would in e.g. an atlas or newspaper to present the structure of a city or the location of the latest earthquakes. However, because of the nature of the WWW the map can also function as an interface or index to additional information. Geographic locations on the map can be linked to for instance photographs, text, sound or other maps (multimedia). Maps can also be used to preview geospatial data products to be acquired, when it comes to disseminating the data.
The purpose of this book is to provide information on the new opportunities and challenges offered by the WWW for cartography and related geosciences. It describes the developments, changes and prospects of the mapping discipline in the framework of the WWW. In this framework a web map classification scheme is proposed. It distinguishes between static and dynamic web maps. Each of these categories is further subdivided into view-only and interactive maps. The most common map found on the WWW is the static view-only map. Often the sources for these web maps are original cartographic products, which are scanned and put as bitmaps on the WWW. Static maps can also be interactive. These are the so-called 'clickable' maps. The map can function as an interface to other data. Alternatively it could allow the user to define the contents of the web map by switching layers off or on. The WWW has several options to display dynamic processes via animations. The so-called animated GIF can be seen as the view-only version of the dynamic maps. Interactive dynamics can be created by Java, JavaScript or via virtual environments in VRML or QuicktimeVR.

Last updated February 12, 2002