M. Peri Cope - Mapsite Evaluation - Geography 761

Site One:

USGS WWW Server Home Page &
Spatial Data Clearinghouse

The USGS WWW Server Home Page & Spatial Data Clearinghouse are excellent examples of some of the many wonderful cartographic resources available on the Internet today. In addition to providing a home page which describes some of the mission and on-line resources of the agency, this site also allows cartographers to download high quality images and digital cartographic products which can later be incorporated into other maps and presentation materials. While this site does not offer a great deal of user interactivity (in comparison to other sites), it does provide the user with a wide variety of options and free data to be used at will.

How's that Human-Computer Interface?

* Degree of Interaction - Are hyper-link elements embedded?

Yes.

(1 point)

The USGS Home Page is a well integrated library of cartographic information. In order to access the variety of resources available from this location, many hyper-link elements are incorporated.

* Intuitiveness of Interation - Is the linking structure "transparent?"

Yes.

(1 point)

In general, the interaction with this page is seamless and intuitive.

* Suitable Form of Interaction - Is the method of interaction appropriate for the purpose of the map?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Customization - Are options implemented for more sophisticated forms of interaction, escpecially for the advanced user?

Yes.

(1 point)

To a limited degree, additional interaction and customization are available to the user. In this case, the user is allowed to select a specific geographic region as the basis for an information search.

* Advanced Interface Elements - Are menus or forms implemented?

Yes.

(1 point)

(Same as above.)

* Interaction With Legend and Scale - Is there interaction with other parts of the map?

No.

(0 points)

What can you tell me about Graphic Attibutes?

* Layout and Design - Are the maps well layed-out and designed?

Yes.

(1 point)

Actually, the quality of the maps is not bad considering the constraints imposed by the net. For the most part, though, the maps are in their "raw" form. There are no legends or annotations of any sort.

* Indication of Scale - Is the scale given, either directly or indirectly?

Yes.

(1 point)

The scale is listed indirectly within the hyperlinks and metadata leading to each map.

* Use of Color - Are appropriate colors used on the map, especially for the depiction of quantitative data?

Yes.

(1 point)

The USGS has a well developed system for the display and presentation of maps.

* Legibility of Text - Is the text legible on the screen?

No.

(0 points)

No text is incorporated with the maps.

* Appropriate Size - Is the map presented at an appropriate size?

Yes.

(1 point)

Maps are often presented as both thumbnails and full size. They are both very appropriate.

* Meta-Data Included - Project-type, source of data, etc.

Yes.

(1 point)

A very comprehensive set of metadat is provided with each map file.

How about the Cartographic Function of this site?

* Is the overall display effective?

Yes.

(1 point)

For the most part, yes.

* Does the display achieve its objective?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Is the use of animation explored?

No.

(0 points)

Up to this point no animation has been incorporated.

* Has the map been (re)designed for screen display?

Yes.

(1 point)

Total Score: 13 points

Click here to see a full screen version of this image.

http://info.er.usgs.gov



Site Two:

The Color Landform Atlas of the United States

The Color Landform Atlas of the United States offers a good source of relief maps for each state within the continental United States. Although the quality of the maps is not always the best and the interactivity of the site is limited, it does provide a valuable resource and starting point for further inquiry regarding geographic information on the states.

How's that Human-Computer Interface?

* Degree of Interaction - Are hyper-link elements embedded?

Yes.

(1 point)

A whole set of hyperlinks has been established for each state, including links to the Yahoo directory, the Virtual Tourist site, and other available resources.

* Intuitiveness of Interation - Is the linking structure "transparent?"

Yes.

(1 point)

At first, it may be a little bit confusing how to access data from each state, but it is an appropriate system.

* Suitable Form of Interaction - Is the method of interaction appropriate for the purpose of the map?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Customization - Are options implemented for more sophisticated forms of interaction, escpecially for the advanced user?

No.

(0 points)

* Advanced Interface Elements - Are menus or forms implemented?

Yes.

(1 point)

Only menus are incorporated though.

* Interaction With Legend and Scale - Is there interaction with other parts of the map?

No.

(0 points)

What can you tell me about Graphic Attibutes?

* Layout and Design - Are the maps well layed-out and designed?

Yes.

(1 point)

The maps presented are marginally well designed. They have been formatted to meet the requirements of the net media.

* Indication of Scale - Is the scale given, either directly or indirectly?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Use of Color - Are appropriate colors used on the map, especially for the depiction of quantitative data?

No.

(0 points)

In my opinion, the choice of colors in not the best one. At times, the information being conveyed is somewhat confusing due to the nature of the colors displayed on screen. Additionally, I don't imagine that these colors would print out well were the user to download the map and try to print it to a laser printer.

* Legibility of Text - Is the text legible on the screen?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Appropriate Size - Is the map presented at an appropriate size?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Meta-Data Included - Project-type, source of data, etc.

Yes.

(1 point)

A somewhat limited set of meta-data is presented in the main directory.

How about the Cartographic Function of this site?

* Is the overall display effective?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Does the display achieve its objective?

Yes.

(1 point)

* Is the use of animation explored?

No.

(0 points)

Unfortunately, no animation has been explored.

* Has the map been (re)designed for screen display?

Yes.

(1 point)

Total Score: 12 points

Click here to see a full screen version of this image.

http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/states/states.html

(The author of this electronic document assumes no responsibility for the references and materials identified herein.
The opinions expressed are strictly those of the author, so accept it before it destroys you.)


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