These are the map sites I used for evaluation:
Geog 761 - Cartography Seminar
Web Map Site Evaluation
- MAP SITE 1 => http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/vplanet.html
- MAP SITE 2 => http://www.clarku.edu/maps.html
- MAP SITE 3 => http://akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo/Science/Geography/Maps/
I have selected these sites based on their variety of features on graphical-human interface and quality of map presentation.
The first one is interesting because of its feature on interactivity.
Some of the problematic maps in the web are presented in the second site. A clickable map is also available. The third site is more like an index of different variety of maps available in the internet. You will find different kind of maps, from the ugliest to very good looking map.
Maps are so plentiful in the internet, that you can almost always find one in every web site. There are a few sites where you can interact with the map, where you can explore its various forms of presentation. Browsing of maps in the internet are simply just a waste of time, if it duplicates what's already available in hardcopy version. It should carry a more specific type of information, rather than just place names.
Let's move on and cruise the information super-highway. Heyaaahh!
You can go to:
=> MAP SITE 2, or
=> MAP SITE 3 if you want
Earth Viewer at fourmilab.ch
There are three types of information you can get from this site: (1) topography, (2) current cloud cover, and (3) IR cloud of the Earth, which can be viewed using two types of map projections: plate carree and perspective/ orthographic projections. There is some degree of interaction in the way maps are presented. First, the display screen can be resized (default is 320 pixels wide); second, maps can be viewed in several ways: using the rectangular projection, and the perspective projection.
Earth can be viewed from the Sun, the moon, from the nightside of the earth, from the point of view of 6 orbiting satellites (Mir, HST, Vanguard, GRO, COBE, TDRS), and finally the user selected latitude and longitude. This degree of interaction is very sophisticated one, but those who have use maps before can appreciate the interaction. The main purpose of these maps is to show the current weather conditions in the form of cloud cover on most part of the globe. There is a little bit of time lag if you change your view-point because the server has to process the new setting of the map and send it for display in your screen.
The layout and design are not too bad. The current cloud cover option is shown in duotone to distinguish the clouds from that of the Earth surfaces, i.e. water and land cover. This is an improvement over the IR cloud cover. Scale is not really appropriate in this form of presentation, because the idea is to show the extent of day and night and the general topography. For most purposes the map is presented in an appropriate size. You can experiment and view any part of earth you want by choosing the latitude and longitude. In this case, you may need to find an atlas for reference which is not very convenient.
Click this to go to the first map.
The weather data is reference from:
http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/ (Univ of Wisconsin) server. More weather data images can be obtained from this site. You will find out that the two major sources of data are coming from
GOES-7 Snapshots and GOES-8 Snapshots
There is also Sea Surface Temperature maps available for the whole world, if you want to explore that. Latest images and archives of images for the past twenty four hours are available.
Overall the display is not a bad one and perhaps achieve its objective of giving a generalized view of Earth. It is a good idea to link your map such as this one to the main data source for further exploration, especially if you are interested in creating an animation. Or perhaps the author should have incorporated weather animation in the site. This would be interesting to see in the future. There is really not much cartography in this site. What could have done is to superimpose some climatic diagram or symbols in the maps. Unless you are trained metreologist, you can't really tell more about the weather, except to know that there is or no cloud cover in the area.
You can go to:
=> MAP SITE 1
=> MAP SITE 3
Map index at Clarke University
A map index is presented here that are either available in-house or reference to other www server sites.
Some of them are:
You can go to:
=> FIRST PAGE
=> MAP SITE 1
Digital Relief Map of the U.S. at Johns-Hopkins University
The shaded relief map of the U.S. appears sharp, but the color choices are not conventional. It looks like the map is unfinished. The map is not really well layed-out and designed. The scale is given, but is also implied in the lat/long coordinates for those who know cartography.
The data source and method of construction are explained somewhere in the the pages. The file is big that it takes a while for the computer to load and display. A hierarchical structure could be done to link various resolution of the images. I think, the display didn't achieve its objective. It has poor quality linework. It could have been done much better buy splitting the image into several parts and make the individual images clickable map.
Boston and Massachusetts maps Maps showing the Boston area.
This map site has several bad maps in the internet. Most maps are simply scans from hardcopy and put in the internet. The quality of text and linework are degraded considerably due to loose of resolution. You will see some of the maps that don't work properly on the screen.
Massachusetts map of WWW resources.
This site also has a link to one of the largest map indexes in the internet. There is a clickable map that is link to another site for more detailed maps or other information.
Maps at Akebono at Stanford University
Click here to go to Akebono map sites at Stanford University, or use those I listed below. There are several sites link to this page, but I have listed only those that I tested and found some maps for evaluation.
These sites use scans from the hardcopy maps of the CIA. Scanned maps are a little better due to the higher resolution when scanning, whereas screen shots are limited to only 72 dpi.
- Canada Centre for Mapping This site advertises and sells maps and presented in the catalog/store. There is some linking structure embedded in most map index, but there is really nothing new to the linking structure.
- Commonwealth Maps Here is the site for maps of the former Republics of the Soviet Union, some are good and some are bad. Scanned images are generally of poor quality for the texts.
- Crisis in Rwanda: Maps of Rwanda and Vicinity Maps are a combination of scan and enhanced map scan. Scanning is a little better than screen shot version because the resolution is much higher than 72 dpi for monitor screen.
- PCL Map Collection This site has very extensive collection of maps, about 230,000 maps covering every area of the world. Maps are mostly scans from CIA maps.
- Country maps for Europe This is a clickable map index of individual European country, index by flags. Once you get into the web server of individual country, you can move around and browse. Maps are generally presented simply as a locator map. Most of them have clickable base maps, if you are interested in looking for a much detail map of the area or region.
- JHU/APL Digital Relief Map of the US (Image Browser) This one is similar to the one I presented in Map Site 2. This is not a good reference index if that's the purpose of the map. Overall the display is not effective in achieving its objective. Its use is maily for browsing, but nothing more than that.
- Making Maps Easy to ReadThis is a tutorial site, probably on Cartography class at UK, on how to make map in the internet. The presentation and discussion is more on the graphic aspects of map making, on how to make effective maps for display in the internet. The linking structure is good, but images are big and the length of the pages are long, the reason for the delay in displaying the pages and images.
- Map of MITHere is an example of how to make stupid map and put it on the internet. There is nothing to get from it, except lines, no legend or even text labels. No use at all.
- Maps at CMU Maps from Carnegie Mellon Univ site. Map contrast is not very good. Scanned maps usually have poor type and line legibility. More maps at the campus. with map indexes of local, national and international maps. This is more appropriate for people who wants to browse the internet for what maps are available.
- Maps of MontanaMaps of Montana presented in several layers. Text in the land use map is overwelm by strong colors making it harder to see. Bad choice of color.
- Maps of the Philadelphia Area Scanning of the street map of Philadelphia is done poorly. If possible don't scan the maps, if you scan edit it in photoshop. Scanning contributes to poor legibility of text and linework. But it's better than nothing, especially that it is free in the internet. What a heck!
- Shaded Relief Maps of the U.S. Relief maps of the 50 states are indexed in a page and clickable to view the digital shaded relief. A legend explaining how to access data or information for each state is shown on top of the page. Use of symbol could have been much better as a legend. Linking is done both using the active region surrounding the small rectangular icon as well as the name of each state. Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico relief maps are not available, so the icon is not clickable or active region. The choice of elevation colors for the shaded relief is not conventional, not acceptable to me. Since colors are used to indicate progression in elevation, a pattern of darker tone to lighter tone should have been chosen to indicate continuous progression of elevation. The legend is not helpfull at all. The size and legibility of text is not bad. The choice of projection, rectangular projection, is usually bad for region near polar region. Overall the display is not bad, the relief look sharp.
- TIGER Mapping Service - This site has a good interactive experimental map of the U.S. Initially it is using the Tiger data file of Washington, D.C. area. You can zoom in and out and scroll using the side-bar tool. Since this is just an experimental site, the map looks unfinished without the necessary text and extremely slow to redraw for new setting. It is supposed to show the detailed maps of anywhere in the United States, using public geographic data, in the final version. So at this time, it is more like a demonstration of GUI for the map. The linework display is jagged looking. It could be improved by anti-aliasing the linework, but it might slow down the redrawing much further. When zooming out four times, the redrawing.Interactivity is only hampered by the size of the map.
- Timex World Map This is also a clickable map showing the world timezones. The map is crude and simple. The display size is meant for 17" monitor screen. The international boundaries are missing. To improve this map, location of some selected cities need to be shown as clickable point, especially the cities it points to when selecting specific time in each zone. Also, the international boundaries should be shown also to give the viewer some kind of reference for the time zones. When you click a specific time zone, it points to a specific city and displays more options to explore for information about the place. To distinguish timezones from the other, colors need to be place alternately between light and dark. Overall, it is a good attempt to show different time zones of the world.
You can go to:
- => MAP SITE 2
- => MAP SITE 3
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