Internet Maps in the Context of Community Right-to-Know versus Public Safety

  • Rex G. Cammack
  • Lindsay Svadbik
Keywords: internet maps, public safety, community


As the human race learns to critically evaluate its actions within the earth’s environment more closely, the public demands more knowledge about their personal living environments. Maps provide a clear means of showing the spatial relationships between people and the environment and making this information available in the form of maps through the Internet allows large numbers of people to make decisions about what is around them and how it might affect them. In this study, governmental rules are examined that concern mapping hazardous chemical materials and making those maps accessible to the public. The social issue to consider is what specific information to present and what interaction and analysis tools a cartographer provides to the public. As with all types of maps, the purpose of the map must be addressed. For an Internet map, any sinister intent of the user must also be considered. Issues of public safety must be evaluated when dealing with sensitive information. Public safety officials view knowledge about the location of hazardous chemical materials as both a public benefit and risk. This study will show how current governmental rules can dictate the development of an Internet map regarding hazardous chemicals and that Internet mapping methods can be used that lead to public awareness without increasing the risk to the public of possible terrorist attacks.
How to Cite
Cammack, R. G., & Svadbik, L. (2000). Internet Maps in the Context of Community Right-to-Know versus Public Safety. Cartographic Perspectives, (37), 26-33.
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