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1. Designing maps for LBS

Learning Objectives

  • With an emphasis on cartographic portrayal, you will be able to analyse scenarios for location-based information use, and describe the construction of map-based services to meet these needs in terms of the data contents, interaction and presentation of information needed.


Maps play the main role for communicating information and allowing users to interact with a location-based service. As such, maps not only present visualisations but also provide an interface into data holdings, allowing users to select particular views of the information relevant to their tasks and context. Maps resulting from this process are different from more conventional paper maps because they are compiled dynamically. The information they contain is ephemeral and relevant only to the moment at which they are needed. These aspects to map use in an LBS require special considerations for their design. It needs to be possible to define which data items are relevant to a user at a particular time and how they should be visualised to enhance their relevance. In addition, how the user can interact with the map interface needs to be considered as well as how different types of media related to the data, e.g. textual descriptions, photographs etc. can be integrated with it.

In this lesson you will learn about the differences between conventional maps and maps for location-based services. Based on these considerations you will look at different issues related to the compilation and design of a map and the map interface. These include the data required and aspects related to its relevance and use, the functionality that it needs to provided and the graphical design of the map itself. These different aspects are described within the integrated concepts of the model (data), the view (map) and the controls (functionality).

Interfaces from the Webpark project
Service selection interface Main map interface
Advanced Search Density surface of animal observations

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