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How do map readers recognize a topographic mapping style?


Ory, Jérémie; Christophe, Sidonie; Fabrikant, Sara I; Bucher, Benedicte (2015). How do map readers recognize a topographic mapping style? Cartographic Journal, 52(2):193-203.

Abstract

The process of reading a topographic map requires users to recognize and learn the cartographic symbols of the key (or legend) while interpreting the territory as depicted on the map at a given level of abstraction (the form and nature of features, their saliency and relationships). We present the results of an empirical user study that aims to identify and assess the main graphical characteristics that are used by map users to recognize the design principles which constitute the topographic mapping style adopted by IGN (Institut National de l'Information Géographique et Forestière), France. Our results suggest that 91% of the participants were able to recognize an IGN-France topographic map amongst other topographic map products. We also determine which graphical characteristics play a role in the recognition of this cartographic style, either by visual memory or by visual perception, and identify the representation of relief, including contour lines and shaded relief, as one of the major graphical characteristics of the topographic mapping style of IGN-France. Moreover, the participants of our study considered the representation of touristic POI (points of interest), toponymy, typography, the main roads network, the individual buildings and the forests, to be essential for stylistic recognition.

Abstract

The process of reading a topographic map requires users to recognize and learn the cartographic symbols of the key (or legend) while interpreting the territory as depicted on the map at a given level of abstraction (the form and nature of features, their saliency and relationships). We present the results of an empirical user study that aims to identify and assess the main graphical characteristics that are used by map users to recognize the design principles which constitute the topographic mapping style adopted by IGN (Institut National de l'Information Géographique et Forestière), France. Our results suggest that 91% of the participants were able to recognize an IGN-France topographic map amongst other topographic map products. We also determine which graphical characteristics play a role in the recognition of this cartographic style, either by visual memory or by visual perception, and identify the representation of relief, including contour lines and shaded relief, as one of the major graphical characteristics of the topographic mapping style of IGN-France. Moreover, the participants of our study considered the representation of touristic POI (points of interest), toponymy, typography, the main roads network, the individual buildings and the forests, to be essential for stylistic recognition.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:21 Jan 2016 12:43
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 18:17
Publisher:Maney Publishing
ISSN:0008-7041
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/00087041.2015.1119459

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