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Map Visualization

  • By: Michael Shin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Map visualization is an important component of geovisualization and refers to the dynamic representation of geospatial data and information for exploratory purposes and decision support. Unlike analog maps, which statically portray information to passive viewers, map visualizations today often require interaction with the viewer. The introduction of viewer interaction (e.g., changing map parameters such as scale or adding and removing map layers on demand and on the fly) with a cartographic production represents a fundamental change in mapping practice. Maps are no longer considered simply graphical inventories or informational artifacts; rather, the use of maps in interactive and exploratory fashion can enhance understanding, facilitate and extend scientific inquiry, and support decision making.

Recent advances in information technology, together with the proliferation of geospatial data, contributed greatly ...

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