History 615

It’s not interactive…
February 28, 2008, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Geography 411

…but its a music related map.


Lab 5…”Faux-GIS”
February 21, 2008, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Geography 411

Here’s my Lab 5. It’s gray and its a bit boring and ugly but whatever. I don’t have as much time to spend on this one as I did Labs 3 and 4, but all my checkboxes and scripting and stuff works and that’s the point of the lab, so this will do. One thing I wish I wouldn’t have done is change the transparency percentages from the 20% it says to use in the lab handout. I figured if a state had to be filled in more than five times you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between five or six or more, but the problem with the way I have it now is that the color is too transparent when there’s only one or two states filled in. Should’ve known. Oh well.


Map Brief – Interface Design for Interactive Maps – Martha & Kevin
February 18, 2008, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Geography 411

The following information and sites talk more specifically about “web interface design” in general, but considering that maps like the ones we are making are being presented digitally and through the web, we think the criteria for good web interface design applies to good interface design for interactive maps as well.

-What is Interface Design and what is the goal of good interface design?

“Interface Design – The creation of a way for a customer, client, or visitor to interact with a product, be it a piece of software, instructional material, technical documentation, etc. The interface may take the form of a computer screen, a hand-held control panel, a set of pushbuttons, etc. Design of the interface is critical to the user’s successful, positive experience with the product. Interface design encompasses an analysis of the needs and expectations of the user and the needs and tasks that the product is designed to help the user perform.”

User-Centered Design – “The goal is to provide for the needs of all your potential users, adapting Web technology to their expectations and never requiring readers to conform to an interface that places unnecessary obstacles in their paths.”

Sources: http://www.denow.com/6gloss/index.html,

-What aspects make a good interface design for interactive maps?

Usability – “refers to how intuitively or easily your media item is navigated and processed (flow, sequence, instructions, download time). Note, this construct is the most inclusive of the three and is influenced by both visualization and functionality.”

Visualization – “is creating visually interesting and aesthetically pleasing media items while avoiding potentially distracting or unncessary “bells and whistles.”

Functionality – ” refers to the features of your media item and how useful they are for supporting a given task (e.g., interactive simulations, drill and practice quizzes, site maps, frequently asked questions, search engines).”

– ” is an emerging Web interface design topic; if not addressed, it will negatively influence Web site usability for users with certain disabilities; tools that help users access your site in alternative formats (e.g., text, aural, visual) provide for increased functionality.”

Source: http://www.edtech.vt.edu/edtech/id/interface/

Common Interface Design Considerations:


-What is your purpose? Display only or user interaction? Downloadable or View only?

-How much data do you have to communicate? Who is your audience?

-Dynamic user interaction OR a movie type animation?

-Single or Multiple Pages? (Keep it simple)

-Opening Intro/Splash page and Closing Page?

-Timeline on bottom or top, moving left to right through time

-How will the user interact with the timeline…..click, scroll, auto play with pre-defined stops?

–Do you have any additional info to provide when user clicks on dates on the timeline?

-Table of Contents or User manipulated layers on left

–How will the user toggle layers for viewing….pull down, check boxes, tab menu?


-VCR buttons for stepping through the timeline sequence

–Play, Stop/Pause, FWD, REV

-Rollover effect (user provided info about particular button or graphic)

–Text box appears OR icon changes color, line width etc.

-Cursor changes from arrow to hand symbol to show user ability to do or select something

–audible clicks when user selects an option

-Scroll bar effect for text boxes

Interactive Map Examples:

New York Times – Presidential Candidate Schedules
More maps from this cartographer…http://maps.grammata.com/

Dave Matthews Band 2002 Tour
More from this company…http://www.mapbureau.com/


Jehovas Witnesses

More from this company…http://www.reddingwebdesign.com/maps/

Iditarod Map

Additional Info…

Adobe sites of interest – Flash Design Center

This site provides all kinds of tutorials for the Adobe FLASH software suite. It also provides links to Blogs and Podcasts about using Flash with other applications and formats such as XML.

This next link will take you to the subset of the above Flash Design Center that covers �interactivity.�

Finally this one from Adobe covers �animation.�

LUKAMARAS—-The most detailed flash tutorials on the web!



Open Geospatial Consortium

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) is an international industry consortium of 345 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS� Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.



Lab 4…A lot less time consuming than Lab 3!
February 14, 2008, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Geography 411

This is my map updated with the interactive timeline and sounds we were supposed to add in Lab 3.b, AKA – Lab 4. I also realized that I never added in the Patriots record for each week for Lab 3. So I added that in there too this time. Here’s the link…

I also just realized that the Patriots record is wrong because I didn’t account for the bye weeks. I’ll fix it later.

Lab 3…My first “real” Flash map!
February 13, 2008, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Geography 411

I uploaded my flash file onto the web using www.imageshack.us. We didn’t do the Mason cluster account thing last semester after all, and looking it up now…it doesn’t look like it is any easier to mess with this semester either, so I just did it this way instead. My map is “usable” as it is in blogger, its just smaller. If you want the bigger version go here…

Really cool color palette generator…
February 5, 2008, 1:11 am
Filed under: Geography 411

I just came across this really cool color palette generator. Basically you put in the url of any image on the website, and the generator spits out a set of colors based on the image. Check it out…I’ve also added it to my links…


Lab 2…Flash Intro
February 4, 2008, 8:25 pm
Filed under: Geography 411

This lab took me a lot longer than it should have. I could have done this in Illustrator in half the time it took me to do it in Flash…