Undergraduate Geography Students Define Aesthetic Maps

Sven Fuhrmann

http://dx.doi.org/10.14714/CP73.589

Abstract


Several aesthetic map definition approaches aim to describe the components, concepts and aspects of aesthetic maps. While the discussion is mostly conducted by mapping professionals and researchers, one may wonder how naïve map users would define an aesthetic map. Thirty-four undergraduate geography students answered a short questionnaire in which they defined an aesthetic map, and identified the most aesthetic map along with the reasons why they liked that particular map. Preliminary findings indicate that two important concepts for aesthetic maps are clarity and being visually pleasing/attractive. Favorite aesthetic maps ranged widely from reference to thematic to imaginary maps. Questionnaire results also indicate the emerging importance of and possible aesthetic paradigm shift towards mobile and other interactive, web-based spatial representations. Naïve aesthetic map definitions could provide an important insight into current and future aesthetic map trends.

Keywords


Aesthetic Maps; Cartographic Education; Undergraduate Students; Questionnaire; Naïve Map Users

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