University of Twente Student Theses


Mapping flows of benefits from marine ecosystems across the globe an interactive web mapping application

Murage, Njeri (2020) Mapping flows of benefits from marine ecosystems across the globe an interactive web mapping application.

[img] PDF
Abstract:The significance of the benefits marine ecosystems offer to society has driven research towards quantification and mapping of Marine Ecosystem Services (MES) and the benefit flows to society. Today, the flow of benefits occurs across distances and boundaries allowing marine resources to be appreciated across the globe. Consequently, mapping the distribution and global flows of marine resources has become paramount in better understanding their importance globally and essential for their use in decision making. To achieve the latter, there is an emergent need for a tool for sharing and efficiently communicating this information. Up to now, the types of maps produced in this domain are mostly static, failing to capture the full picture on the global distribution of these benefits, while their actual and documented use in decision-making has been very limited. Following up on research conducted on user requirements for Ecosystem Service maps, I explored the efficiency of interactive web mapping to visualize the flow of benefits from marine resources to society. The aim of this thesis was to use and develop novel methods of interactive mapping to create a better communication tool for sharing information on the benefits society gets from marine resources, for decision-makers. I designed, built, implemented, and tested an interactive flow map prototype for global flows of purse seine tuna fisheries from the West and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) region. Such flows are a type of data that is characteristic of complex branching Origin-Destination (OD) data which requires employing new methods. To achieve this, I developed an interactive web mapping application with the use of (carto-)graphic design principles following a user-centred focus in design and implementation. The methodology adopted a User-Centred Design approach where I first started with a user requirement analysis with selected end-users specific to ecosystem services and the WCPO region. Secondly, I systematically organized and restructured the available data in the form of origin-destination tables which allowed us to build flow maps. I then designed an interactive web map application and implemented a prototype using web map programming languages such as JavaScript and D3.js. Lastly, a two-round testing with the selected end-users was carried out to test the usability of the prototype for the chosen users and determine if the application serves the goals and use purpose. Based on the outputs of our analysis and from usability testing, an interactive web mapping application for querying and visualizing MES economic flow benefits proved to have a significant impact in informing more efficiently the decision-making process while raising awareness and improving communication. It is the first time that information related to marine resource benefit distribution is visualized in such a way and tested by users with decision-making power. The scientific methods applied to create this web mapping application, introduced a novel interactive flow map application that visualized a unique type of branching origin-destination data to the field of web cartography, with the main innovation lying on the ability to dynamically and interactively change steps of branching flow maps in the supply value chain based on the user. The produced web mapping application could be further taken up and modified for application in other areas of work that involves flow mapping of similar complex networks such as global value supply chains or flows of other ecosystem services.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page