Visualizing Map Generalization Solutions on the World Wide Web

Geoffrey Dutton Spatial Effects 20 Payson Road Belmont MA 02478 USA

NOTICE: This set of HTML documents are a work-in-progress and include proprietary artwork. This draft version has been prepared for the Working Group on Map Generalization of the International Cartographic Association (WGMG/ICA). Until September 1999 persons who receive these pages in any form may save them locally for convenience, but are requested not to redistribute them to any other person, computer or institution. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated.

Also please note that the "paper" is entirely HTML-based, and does not now exist as a printed document. Thus it must be read in a browser, unless one chooses to print the pages and take one's chances. Because of the volume of images included in the main text, the paper has been divided into three main sections (HTML documents), not including this brief one. There are also a number of supporting HTML and graphic files.

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Arrays of simple diagrams, called "small multiples", are commonly used to illustrate scientific articles, but are rather underutilized in cartographic research publications. This paper explores the value of presenting cartographic data -- particularly results of map generalization experiments -- as small multiples in a variety of formats in an interactive setting. In addition to this focus, the paper also examines some issues in organizing and formatting cartographic images for use on the world wide web, and illustrates some visual and cognitive consequences of various design choices. Some of the illustrations are presented as client-side animated images as well as static arrays of small multiples to explore the tradeoffs possible between space and time when presenting research results and tutorial material.


map generalization, line simplification, scientific visualization, animation, www authoring, small multiples, comic strips

Biographical Sketch

Geoffrey H. Dutton is a private geodata consultant in Belmont, Massachusetts USA, and most recently a Research Associate in the Department of Geography, University of Zürich, Switzerland, where he received his Ph.D. in 1998, under the direction of Professors Robert Weibel and Kurt Brassel. Dr. Dutton has a B.A. degree in Government from Columbia University and a Masters in City Planning from Harvard University. From 1969 through 1984 he was a staff researcher at the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, where he developed and applied cartographic and geographic modeling software, in both theoretical and project-oriented contexts. Subsequently he has been a private consultant for industrial, nonprofit and academic organizations, worked as a software designer in the computer industry, and has been senior GIS analyst at several design and mapping firms in the Boston area. Over the past 25 years Dr. Dutton has authored more than 50 professional papers, articles and book chapters, and contributed articles and maps to trade journals and news magazines.

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