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Cartographic rules for 3D and 4D mapping...

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#1
Clive Cartwright

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Where do we stand on general ‘cartographic rules’ for both 3D and 4D time based spatial data delivery?

Although many of the general rules used for 2D presentations may and will apply, I feel some aspects need special treatment. For example, has a ‘general’ convention been developed in regards to presenting marginalia details?

Are there published examples to hand i.e. books, websites, papers, etc…?

What with the growing need for publishing data in 3D, either online or as print; this is a big issue for cartography.
Clive E. Cartwright
Mapping & Charting Officer
British Geological Survey

#2
Jean-Louis

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Where do we stand on general ‘cartographic rules’ for both 3D and 4D time based spatial data delivery?

Although many of the general rules used for 2D presentations may and will apply, I feel some aspects need special treatment. For example, has a ‘general’ convention been developed in regards to presenting marginalia details?

Are there published examples to hand i.e. books, websites, papers, etc…?

What with the growing need for publishing data in 3D, either online or as print; this is a big issue for cartography.


That is a damn good question Clive. I was waiting for a response myself but maybe this has never been adressed
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#3
Clive Cartwright

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Thanks Jean-Louis, I've had some feedback from our UK based carto forum, pointing me to an online gallery of 3D snap shots. http://www.3dnworld.com/galapp.php

And some 4D animation work on http://3dnature.com/anims.html which are great examples of work being created today.

They look like wonderful images. However, these snapshots do illustrate clearly the potential problems of presenting 3D and 4D imagery out of context. For example, can you understand what is going on from the still, without the supporting copy or the sequence?

Many people will display and print snapshots from 3D and 4D maps and reproduce them in publications and of course websites. I have noticed that the lack of, say… a marginalia, leaves the communicative ability of such images at a disadvantage. How can we best overcome this issue?

I can see an argument against an ever present marginalia for 3D and 4D data, but these formats without them are greatly compromised. For one, an on screen marginalia will obscure valuable/limited viewing area. But if the image doesn’t communicate as effectively without one, is the whole visual experience pointless?

Should we develop a marginalia’s that works?
For example, one that auto-retracts when not required or when you interrogate a feature on screen, and automatically generates on request to print?

Design issues come in: the balance of content should be placed into account. Do we need to see the on screen equivalent of a jet fighter 'flight deck', or a simple key that’s as concise as possible? Cartographer will need to find the balance here.

I have a feeling that the gaming world has already encountered these issues and are no doubt well ahead of the game (pardon that pun).

Convention of displaying releif would be interesting, too... the list could go on.

My interest lies in how to present 3D and 4D geological data. I would be especially interested to hear more about how to achive visual presentation in a similar underground context. Geological, Archaeological , Atchitectural, etc...
Clive E. Cartwright
Mapping & Charting Officer
British Geological Survey

#4
Derek Tonn

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I wish I had something thoughtful to add to this thread...but it's a new frontier that hasn't had a lot of time to flesh-out a lot of those issues as of yet.

For me though, it all comes back to user-centered design. Do we:

A. Design to standards that cross every "T" and dot every "I" related to the greater cartography/wayfinding community, forcing users to learn and adapt to our particular way of thinking, navigating, processing information, etc., or do we...

B. Ask the eventual users of said designs to tell us what makes the most sense to them, then try and adapt our design/methodology to the feedback we are receiving?

If there is one thing I have seen a lot of people in the communities I spend time in professionally (graphic design, cartography, web design, etc.) be guilty of is designing the way it makes sense to THEM and/or their peers, rather than designing in ways that make sense to the end-user. To take it one step further, you even occasionally hear comments about how those end-users must not be smart or savvy enough to "get it." I think that perception and attitude is precisely BACKWARDS...and that it is often WE who do not "get it" related to designing in ways that make sense and easily convey the information we are intending to our desired audiences.

I guess I would say that, rather than have a bunch of cartographers collectively decide upon "rules" for 3D/4D design, why not let the end-users of said designs tell US what we should be doing? In cases when we know there are obvious disadvantages to what is being requested, we can gently "steer" and suggest more efficient/affordable/effective solutions. However, "tie" goes to what people want/need...not what we THINK people want/need.

A bit preachy(sorry). However, a bit liberating once we all realize that some of those "rules" are meant to be broken...or should never have been "rules" in the first place. :)
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#5
Clive Cartwright

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Oh, yes… this truly deserves a thread of its own.

I know what you mean Derek, about user-centered design. I for many years have felt that the term Rules, is a misnomer in the context of cartography. I too, strongly believe that we should listen to our audience to develop this… but I think the cartographic ‘rules’ should be adhered to as guidelines; and applied after careful thought and consideration when creating spatially related data output.
Clive E. Cartwright
Mapping & Charting Officer
British Geological Survey




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