chapter is written from the perspective of the web map user as a person.
It starts with a description of the profile of the users ("Who are they?").
It appears that the use of the Internet is democratising rapidly now
and, therefore, the user profile is becoming more and more diversified.
At the same time, the number of users of the Internet and people with
access to the WWW is growing exponentially, although the number of Internet
users expresssed as a percentage of the total population of the world
is still rather small. Finally, the first section also deals with the
uneven global diffusion of the use of the Internet.
second section presents some quantitative data on the use of maps on
the Web. Although it is difficult to find precise data, it is sure that,
in quantitative terms, the Web now has become the major medium for the
dissemination of maps to their users, with MapQuest being the number
one web map site in the world.
aspects of web cartography are discussed from the perspective of the
user under the headings: for free or for fee?; privacy and security;
and copyrights. In this section methods of paying for web maps and geodata
are presented as well.
The last paragraph of this chapter summarises some of the problems and
limitations web map users are confronted with in practice. Problems
mentioned are, for instance, the quality of the design of web maps,
different output conditions and websites that are not kept up-to-date
regularly. Besides, there are quite some limitations to the accessibility.
They are listed under the headings: finding web maps and geodata; language;
accessibility for everyone?; web maps and geodata for fee; Internet
access; and speed of data transfer.
Last updated April