Broader research questions associated with Maps and the Internet:

1) Determine the extent and type of Internet map usage.

It is currently difficult to determine the number of maps that are distributed through the web. This effort could culminate in a type of "map counter" that would tally (or estimate) the number of maps that have been so distributed on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

2) How are maps being used?

Research is needed that examines the users in order to determine how cartographers can better serve their needs. It is important to "know the users;" who uses which maps for what reasons.

3) Promote international user interfaces for maps on the web.

This would involve developing an iconic vocabulary of map symbols that are simple and clear, and a consistent color vocabulary.

4) Promote the creation of international web map servers.

International web map servers would distributed maps that could be used by an international audience.

5) Develop a database of web maps with specific themes or authors, areas (coordinates), resolution, dates, etc.

A large number of maps reside on the web but it is difficult to find them, and particularly to find anything out about them. Maps on the web should be accompanied by a metafile with a description of the contents (e.g. map, soils, Netherlands, 1987, in a standardized format like MARC 2). The metafiles would be aggregated into a database that would point directly to map files available on the web without having to go to each home page.

6) Develop guidelines for the design of web maps.

Initially this might focus on the relatively common static maps, and perhaps offer some suggestions about fonts, colors, avoiding things that retard downloading, etc.

7) Develop instructional materials (syllabi, topics, exercises, project websites, etc.) for Internet cartography.

Many instructional materials are already available on the web. This effort would involve making these materials available from a central source.

8) Collaborative map use through the web.

How can maps delivered through the Internet be used by groups of people in collaborative problem-solving.

9) Delivering cartographic data and services through the Internet.

Cartographic data sets are huge, and the distributed processing times are not compatible with the compuational complexity of our cartographic modeling operations. Methods need to be found to distribute cartographic data more efficiently.