Research

We love cartography because it draws from art, science, and technology. In the Cart Lab, we conduct mixed-methods research on the design and use of maps and visualizations. Our research crosses theoretical, methodological, organizational, and technological dimensions of the discipline, and contributes to the sibling disciplines of geography, GIScience, human-computer interaction, information visualization, and visual analytics.

Cartographic Design

Much of the empirical research in cartography over the past half century addressed representation design, evaluating how maps visually encode geographic information from perceptual, cognitive, and social/critical perspectives. We remain active in the study of cartographic design, particularly in the face of evolving mapping technologies and professional practices. Our recent research on cartographic representation includes aesthetics and style, bivariate and multivariate mapping, multiscale generalization, semiotics, terrain representation, and uncertainty visualization, among other topics. View our work on cartographic design…

User Experience & User Interface (UX/UI) Design

Increasingly, cartographers need both to encode geographic information as well as code a useful and usable interface for exploring the resulting maps. But interface design is much more than pushing 0s and 1s, and few time-tested principles exist to inform design of the user experience. Increasingly, we contribute to interaction science, approaching topics such as cartographic interaction primitives (i.e., the building blocks of an interactive map), interface flexibility versus constraint, user expertise and motivation, coordinated multiview geovisualization, and applications of interactive mapping to support geography. View our work on UX/UI design…

Web & Mobile Map Design

Interactive maps increasingly are used online or through mobile devices. Accordingly, much of the canon of cartographic design principles needs to be revised or completely rethought due to the contemporary design and use context. Our production, research, and education intersects at how we think about a web-enabled and mobile platform, pushing the boundaries of the underlying software and hardware technologies while considering new users and use contexts. View our work on web and mobile map design

Usability Engineering & User-centered Design

We couple our interests in interactive, online, and mobile mapping with a methodological contribution on the process of map design. Design is a process, and the digital revolution has introduced new design considerations and metrics of success. We draw from usability engineering and user-centered design to streamline workflows for taking a design from concept to deployment. Further, we adapt methods pioneered in social science for the discount evaluation of maps, enabling rapid user feedback throughout the design process. View our work on usability engineering and user-centered design…

Organizational Management

The production of maps and geographic information is couched within a broader political economy that impacts their design and accessibility. We work with a range of government agencies and industry firms to understand institutional barriers and technological path dependencies that impact design. Further, we support open source and participatory mapping projects, bringing map technology to underserved communities and student populations.

Pedagogical Research

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