Design of web maps for navigation purpose

Zhilin Li, Shuk Ching Lilian Cheng, Yu Kai Geoffrey Shea

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper discusses the design of web-map for navigation purpose. First of all, it provides an overview of the development of maps (from paper to web) and then some thought on the design of web maps for navigation purpose. It has been found that the functions of maps have changed from "display and storage" to "display and exploration" and "storage and linking". The variables for visual presentations have been expanded from traditional set of visual variables to fives set of variables, i.e. visual variables, screen variables, dynamic variable, exploratory acts and web variables. The functions of map symbols are also enriched to include "indexing" and "pointing". All these variables could be explored for web map design. Because of its confined display environment, web map has to be carefully designed so that the graphics to be displayed will not be too dense. It is also discussed that the colour coding which has been in use for years for topographic maps may need to be modified for screen display. For example, different colour may be assigned to the road and building names according to the position of the location, and blinking symbols used to indicate direction restrictions. In addition, when incorporating with spatial analysis functionality, a selection of client-side or server-side Internet mapping systems has to be made to balance performance and functionality. For the purpose of navigation, maps can be used for positioning (i.e. displaying current location on a digital map), navigation (i.e. displaying the current position and destination) and route guidance (i.e. displaying position, destination and route to destination). How the maps on web should be design for navigation purpose is a topic of this paper.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Event20th ISPRS Congress on Technical Commission VII - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 12 Jul 200423 Jul 2004


  • Graphic variables
  • May functions
  • Navigation
  • Spatial query
  • Web maps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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