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Table of contents
Chapter 1

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URLs referred to in this chapter
What references are used in this chapter?
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Appendix
Worldwide Internet users 1995 - 2005 (a)
Worldwide Internet users 1995 - 2005 (b)
The portion of the world's population that uses the Internet, forecast year-end 2000
Number of Internet users by country, 1999
Paying for web maps and geodata
 

This 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.
The 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.
Economic 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 11, 2002