University of Twente Student Theses


Use and user requirements for neogeography maps

Moseme, Mosa Timeletso (2012) Use and user requirements for neogeography maps.

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Abstract:Neogeography maps are maps created voluntarily by people who normally have no skills in the disciplines of geography, cartography, information science and related fields. These maps use the www as the platform for sharing and contributing information. Neogeography maps are designed for a purpose and the purpose of these maps differs from map to map. Some neogeography maps are designed with a mandate to assist in the collection of data, others for navigation while others are designed to facilitate sharing of information among friends and family. Similarly the maps have different users as well as uses. These users have different characteristics needs and preferences and to ensure an optimal use of these maps and the tools that are used to generate them, we have to learn more about their users and uses. To achieve the goals of this study, several methods were used to learn and gather information about uses, users and types of neogeography maps. First, the literature was reviewed and criteria were formulated to characterise and distinguish between the different types of neogeography maps. This resulted in the generic types of neogeography maps. These types of neogeography maps proposed were, data collection maps, navigation maps, validation maps, information maps, crisis maps, tourism maps and social maps. Secondly, two neogeography maps (the Flickr World Map and OpenStreetMap (OSM)) were selected and discussed as case studies. The users of these maps were contacted and information related to their characteristics, needs and use of the maps was gathered. The methods used for gathering the data included the use of online surveys which was administered via e-mail addresses and the messaging pages on the map’s portals. A number of users (OSM) were also invited for actual user test at the ITC building in Enschede, the Netherlands. This was done to observe users while performing tasks with OSM, to observe how they interact with the interface and the tools provided. The following techniques were used for user test: screen logging, think aloud, video recording, eye tracking and interviews. An interview was used after the user test for debriefing and for gathering information on issues that could not be resolved during the test. The results showed that most of the respondents of these maps were male and only a small percentage were female. The distribution of respondents was between the ages of 26 and 40. The needs of users differ with the way they interact with the maps. For the users who contribute information, their interests are to have user-friendly tools and more tools for adding data that cannot be added presently. For those who extract data, their wish is to be able to extract data using other formats. Editing the OSM features seems to be a challenge for novice users as it is difficult to figure out how to start and stop the editing. The tools for editing map details have to be improved for better use by novice users. Even though the users agreed that indeed the quality of data was not satisfactory, they were still able to perform their tasks and achieve some of their goals. Users gave comments related to what they wished to see in the future, among others they would like to be able to contribute and extract cadastre and metadata. Users would also like to have tools enabling 3D view.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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