are there to answer questions. They should offer solutions to questions
like "Where can I find…?", "How do I get to…?", "What feature can be
found at…?", or "Where else do I find that feature?" Maps have to be
well designed to be able indeed to answer questions like those above.
If the translation from data to graphics is successful the resulting
maps are the most efficient and effective means of transferring geospatial
information. The map user can locate geographic objects, while the shape
and colour of signs and symbols representing the objects inform him
about their characteristics. They reveal spatial relations and patterns,
and offer the user insight in and an overview of the distribution of
can be designed the cartographer should get a feel for the nature of
the information, since this determines the graphic options. This is
done via cartographic information analysis. Based on this knowledge
the cartographer can choose the correct symbols to represent the information
in the map. The cartographer has a whole toolbox of visual variables
available to match symbols to the nature of the data. These are applied
according to the cartographic rules and guidelines.
using these basic cartographic guidelines are not necessarily appealing
maps. Although well constructed, they could still look sterile. The
design aspects required to create appealing maps also have to be included
in the visualisation process. Appealing in a communicative sense does
not only mean having nice colours. One of the keywords here is contrast.
Contrast will increase the communicative role of the map since it will
create a kind of hierarchy in the map contents, assuming that not all
information is of equal importance. The chapter ends with some details
on mapping of the third dimension and time.
Last updated April