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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
A View only map: the population age characteristics of Overijssel
An interactive map with access to more detailed data
An interactive map as index to other information
An interactive map for exploratory purposes
Web map content levels
Static and dynamic zooming of a vector-based image
Web map without a legend
Non-interactive map
Pop-up web map legend
Control-panel web map legend
Point symbols
Line symbols
Graphic variables applied to area symbols
Tourist map of Overijssel designed according principles of Bertin
Typographic variables and their map application
Application of transparency: a rainfall map of Overijssel
Tourist map of Overijssel designed for the Web
 

Designing Web maps is a challenging task. The cartographer must consider limitations, opportunities and characteristics of the Web. Combining functionality with a high level of visual attraction and a design that suits the medium and attract the user should be the challenge for the cartographer. Cartographers have little or no control on user actions and system configurations. File sizes must be small to speed up downloading. This leads to smaller maps with simpler designs than might be preferred. Scaling and zooming options can alleviate the problem of small format. The visual hierarchy of components of the map content deserves more attention compared to maps in general and depends upon the definition of the intended map use. Special attention is given to web-oriented application of the graphic variables and their variations such as shadow and transparency. Specific attention is paid to colour. Next to its cartographic visualisation application, colour can be applied in a more artistic way. Colour choice is however limited depending on the file format and size used to send the map over the Web and on the user's system configuration. Also the use of web (map) objects and interactive 'gadgets' such as pull-down menus, mouse-over events, hotspots etc. are described. Web map reading time is assumed to be short but can be (partly) anticipated by applying map symbols that are self-explanatory. In case a legend is needed one could apply non-interactive legends, pop-up legends and interactive control-panel legends to explain the symbols. Text on maps cannot be omitted but their impact on Web maps is considerable. The cartographer must take into account unwanted changes at the user's side, such as font replacement, text flow, letter spacing and leading to guarantee readability and legibility. As a final design step, the finished map should be tested on expected minimum user configurations and improved based upon user feedback.

Updating in progress (April 16, 2002)