The particular site that is reviewed below is that of the NAIS/GIS, MAKE A MAP. Other components are available from the HOMEPAGE of the NAIS.

The stated objective of the NAIS/GIS is to view and manipulate National Atlas spatal data and construct your own map. Both the HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERFACE and the GRAPHIC ATTRIBUTES are addressed in this exercise.

  • HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERFACE

    Degree of Interaction

    This map site offers many POINT AND CLIC operations that enable the user to design a map on the screen. Possible operations include:
    1. Choice of data layer(s)
    2. Geographic extent(within Canada only)
    3. Formatting of colors for the map
    4. Type of line or polygon pattern

    Intuitiveness of interaction

    The linking structure in this site is excellent. The hardest part is to choose more than 1 item. Menus contain several choices for each facet of operation. The POINT AND CLIC operations are well suited for the development of a map from data layer, symbology and scale of the map.

    Advanced interface and customization

    There are several advanced aspects in the building of the map. They are not altogether apparent, and must be learned by trial and error. For example the ordering of the layers makes a difference in the graphic display.

  • GRAPHIC ATTRIBUTES

    Layout and design

    This mapmaking package does an excellent job in regards to map design. The main reason is that it is the user herself controls much of the design features.
    1. Choice of colors
    2. Lines and patterns
    3. Size of lines

    Indication of scale

    There is no indication of scale. When Canada as a whole is chosen for the BASE MAP, it is shown with part of the U.S.A. However, if one of the provences is displayed, no scale is shown, and it can be difficult to judge the scale.

    Appropriate size

    The map is a good size for the computer screen. It does require to scroll down, but not from side to side which is a slower operation.

  • CARTOGRAPHIC FUNCTION

    Effectiveness

    This map package is excellent. It is easy to use, and has alot of data layers to work with. It does require some knowledge of cartography in order to extract the most amount of data. However even a novice should enjoy using it, and also be able to analysis information displayed on screen.
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