Web Cartography : Map Design for Interactive and Mobile Devices book cover
1st Edition

Web Cartography
Map Design for Interactive and Mobile Devices

ISBN 9781439876220
Published December 10, 2013 by CRC Press
262 Pages 114 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Web mapping technologies continue to evolve at an incredible pace. Technology is but one facet of web map creation, however. Map design, aesthetics, and user-interactivity are equally important for effective map communication. From interactivity to graphical user interface design, from symbolization choices to animation, and from layout to typeface and color selection, Web Cartography offers the first comprehensive overview and guide for designing beautiful and effective web maps for a variety of devices.

Written for those with a basic understanding of mapmaking, but who may not have an in-depth knowledge of web design, this book explains how to create effective interaction, animation, and layouts for maps in online and mobile platforms. Concept-driven, this reference emphasizes cartographic principles for web and mobile map design over specific software techniques. It focuses on key design concepts that will remain true regardless of software technologies used. The book is supplemented with a website providing links to stellar web maps, video tutorials and lectures, do-it-yourself labs, map critique exercises, and links to others’ tutorials.

Approachable, clear, and concise, the book provides a nontechnical, approachable guide to map design for the web. It provides best practices for map communication, based on spatial data visualization and graphic design theory. By carefully avoiding overly technical jargon, it provides a solid launching pad from which students, practitioners, and innovators can begin to design aesthetically pleasing and intuitive web maps.

Table of Contents

The Purpose of This Book
Contemporary Mapmaking: A Quarter Century of Rapid Evolution
Web Cartography: A Brief History
The Goals of Map Communication Remain the Same
Establishing a Communicative Purpose for Your Map
The Rest of This Book
Key Concepts
Further Reading

Human-Map Interactivity
Of Mice and Touch Screens
New Interactive Map Elements
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources

Map Elements
Title/Splash Screen
Mapped Area
Pan User Interfaces
Zoom User Interfaces
Map Rotation Interfaces
Information Window Design
Locator Maps
Menu Design
Supplemental Information
Help Menu
Neat Lines and Frame Lines
Designing Smart Legends
Other Web Map Elements
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources

Map Composition and Layout
Map Composition and Visual Hierarchy
Map Layout and Organization
Two Types of Web Map Layouts
How to Design an Effective Web Map Layout
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources

Defining and Understanding Color
Color Rules That Remain Unchanged from Print
Color Models for the Web
Coloring Your Base Map
Reference Map Color Schemes
Choosing Thematic Map Colors
Beware of Color Blindness
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources

All in the Family: Explaining Typeface and Font
Typographic Rules That Stand Firm
Text as a Core Map Element
Typographic Rules That Have Changed
Fonts That Play Well with Web Maps
Font Myths, Realities, and Web Maps
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources

Core Visual Variables
Defining the Visual Variables
When to Use the Different Visual Variables
Key Concepts
Further Reading

Designing Effective Web Map Symbols
Key Concepts
Further Reading

Thematic Visualization
Data and Technology Limitations
Different Thematic Representations
The Role of Interactivity in Thematic Representations
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources

To Tween or Not to Tween?
The Visual Variables of Animation
Types of Map Animation
Other Types of Map Animation
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Online Resources

Sound and Touch
Sound Variables
Tactile Variables
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resource

Web Map Production
The Gist on Coding
Prepping Spatial Data for the Web
A Web Cartographer’s Tool Box
Closing Advice
Key Concepts
Further Reading and Resources


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"If you have interests in web maps but feel lost in a push-pin forest, this book will chart a course for you. If you know about cartography but are unsure how to project your knowledge to web space, this book will help you make the transformation. Ian muehlenhaus provides us with an insightful, accessible, readable, and spirited perspective on web mapping for everyone interested in effectively and clearly communicating their spatial ideas to the World."
—Patrick Kennelly, Long Island University

"This book fills an important need for attention to map design in that new technology. … could serve as the cartography textbook in web cartography class, or as an ancillary text for any course dealing with mobile application development that incorporates map resources. … Its focus on design, its non-technical approach, and conversational tone make this book accessible to everybody that is interested in the subject, regardless of technological skill level."
—Jeffrey S. Torguson, St. Cloud State University, Author of Cartography: Thematic Map Design