What Makes a Good Map?        Adam Nemeth, Nearby Project
What I wont talk about tonightAir pollution + Stereo Computer VisionCommunity Databases + AGPS + Base StationsPostGIS + Ba...
What I will talk about instead
“Cartography is a special           kind of UX”        Astrid Fasold, Lead of Map Design                       at
Maps are there• For specific target audiences• To solve specific use cases• In specific contexts
That’s whya single, global mapis hard to design   It tries to solve everything for everyone
Target audiences• What kind of vehicle? (ped., car, bike...)• Is it you whos driving?• Whats the speed?• How old are you?•...
People expect things tosee at once!• Also they expect maps to be permanent• Mobile screen is small• Cant be overloaded wit...
Primary and secondarygoals• Not all goals are told explicitly• Orientation is a key issue• But perhaps you need an ATM on ...
Orientation   •   Orientation can be anything: width of street, shape       or color of building, a tree, a crane, brand s...
Use Case Examples•   University students expect their building names to    be present - not meaningful for anyone else•   ...
Cartography is complex  Digital cartography is even more complex
You can only implementit well while activelytrying to use it
Any questions?Nokia Maps (mostly driving)Google Maps (mostly pedestrian)OpenStreetMap.org (“could you pls add...?”)
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What makes a good map?

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We all seem to know that the new iOS Maps is bad, but what exactly makes a good map? Using lessons learnt from the lead designer of Nokia, I shared some thoughts on the Budapest New Technology Meetup in October 2012

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What makes a good map?

  1. 1. What Makes a Good Map? Adam Nemeth, Nearby Project
  2. 2. What I wont talk about tonightAir pollution + Stereo Computer VisionCommunity Databases + AGPS + Base StationsPostGIS + Badly written SQL Selects + names
  3. 3. What I will talk about instead
  4. 4. “Cartography is a special kind of UX” Astrid Fasold, Lead of Map Design at
  5. 5. Maps are there• For specific target audiences• To solve specific use cases• In specific contexts
  6. 6. That’s whya single, global mapis hard to design It tries to solve everything for everyone
  7. 7. Target audiences• What kind of vehicle? (ped., car, bike...)• Is it you whos driving?• Whats the speed?• How old are you?• Are you familiar with the area?
  8. 8. People expect things tosee at once!• Also they expect maps to be permanent• Mobile screen is small• Cant be overloaded with information, but needs enough - no legend!• Visual Information Hierarchy in each and every view!• Level of detail is important
  9. 9. Primary and secondarygoals• Not all goals are told explicitly• Orientation is a key issue• But perhaps you need an ATM on the way...
  10. 10. Orientation • Orientation can be anything: width of street, shape or color of building, a tree, a crane, brand signs... • Churches are usually high buildings with a tower or a cross on top of them in Europe - not always! • India doesnt have street names - they use petrol station names • Chinese would prefer a McDonalds to a street name
  11. 11. Use Case Examples• University students expect their building names to be present - not meaningful for anyone else• Theres no reason to show pathways while driving• A “main street” is different for a pedestrian and a driver• “entrance” is different for a pedestrian and a driver, not to mention parking spots• A metro station can have up to 10-15 exits
  12. 12. Cartography is complex Digital cartography is even more complex
  13. 13. You can only implementit well while activelytrying to use it
  14. 14. Any questions?Nokia Maps (mostly driving)Google Maps (mostly pedestrian)OpenStreetMap.org (“could you pls add...?”)
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