A Process for Keeping Pace with Evolving Web Mapping Technologies
The current pace of technological innovation in web mapping offers new opportunities and creates new challenges for web cartographers. The continual development of new technological solutions produces a fundamental tension: the more flexible and expansive web mapping options become, the more difficult it is to maintain fluency in the teaching and application of these technologies. We addressed this tension by completing a three-stage, empirical process for understanding how best to learn and implement contemporary web mapping technologies. To narrow our investigation, we focused upon education at the university level, rather than a professional production environment, and upon open-source client-side web mapping technologies, rather than complementary server-side or cloud-based technologies. The process comprised three studies: (1) a competitive analysis study of contemporary web mapping technologies, (2) a needs-assessment survey of web map designers/developers regarding past experiences with these technologies, and (3) a diary study charting the implementation of a subset of potentially viable technologies, as identified through the first two studies. The process successfully achieved the practical goal of identifying a candidate set of web mapping technologies for teaching web mapping, and also revealed broader insights into web map design and education generally as well as ways to cope with evolving web mapping technologies.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).