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Welcome to NACIS 2014 in Pittsburgh! This is the annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). The theme for this year’s meeting is Cartography and Time. See the schedule below and go to the NACIS website for more details.

[If you are a presenter and want to provide a link to your slides in your presentation description below, send an email to veep@nacis.org.]

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

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Thursday, October 9 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Understanding Map Users

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Examining novice misconceptions of satellite imaging
Raechel Bianchetti, Michigan State University
Remote sensing images are available to the general public through media outlets, navigational tools, and other tools. Novice users are asked to complete increasingly complex tasks with images.  User conceptions have implications for their ability to understand scenes, both in isolation and as base maps. After the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, novices began voicing their opinions regarding the use of satellite imagery in the search. Novices also assisted in the search of wreckage by TomNod, a well-established program for crowd-sourcing image analysis tasks. The conceptions that TomNod users, and novice users in general, have has important implications on their analysis results. To assess current novice understanding of remote sensing two methods were used. First, a survey was conducted of novices concerning their understanding of remote sensing. Second, news site comments, regarding MH370, were also mined.  Here we present results from these sources and framework for a larger study.

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How do 'Six Americas' of Sarasota Students See Sea Level Rise Uncertainty? Preliminary Results from a Survey of Map Users
David Retchless, Penn State University
When mapping highly uncertain hazards such as sea level rise (SLR), cartographers often consider both whether and how to show uncertainty. While several studies have suggested that including uncertainty can improve decision outcomes, few have considered how uncertainty interacts with audience characteristics to affect the decision process. To address this gap, I use surveys of college students to assess how the depiction of uncertainty on an online SLR mapping tool for the Sarasota, Florida area interacts with map users' individual differences to affect their perceptions of the hazard, interaction with the map, and subsequent decision making. Individual differences considered include an audience segmentation analysis performed using the "Global Warming's Six Americas" framework. It is hoped that the preliminary results presented here will help cartographers create hazard maps that are better tailored to their audience, more engaging, and more likely to encourage thoughtful decision making.

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Considering the Map User...
George McCleary, University of Kansas
Though generally unstated, the goal of the cartographer has been maps that are appropriate, comprehensible, and effective. For concept organization, data gathering, development processes and final production, the design perspective employed has been that of the cartographer. For maps developed to support those users needing precise environmental descriptions (e.g., nautical charts), common understanding of the map use task and design is not a problem. Thematic maps, however, present a problem: the map (generally a graphic numerical abstraction) has to be created so that it is understood by users who might not understand the map design used by the cartographer. It took almost a century for cartographers to recognize that some things did not "look right."

The starting point for "user-centered design" appears to lie with psychophysics, a fundamental, versatile, and adaptable concept in experimental psychology, a foundation for understanding the "human information processing system."

Presentation available soon...

Interactive mapping: Moving maps forward for backwards people
Iain Crawford, US Department of State
A challenge facing many cartographers in organizations, private or public, is the structural inertia surrounding "how things are done." The last decade has seen an incredible explosion in both the power and general use of interactive cartographic products. Unfortunately this growth has not always translated into new ways that customers at the top of the chain consume cartographic products - many of these "senior" clients still think of maps as static products designed to be printed out or inserted in a slide deck. This presentation will highlight some of the methods that the State Department Office of the Geographer has implemented to help nudge the technologically adverse into the world of interactivity.

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avatar for Erik Steiner

Erik Steiner

Creative Director, Spatial History Project at CESTA, Stanford University


Raechel Bianchetti

Michigan State University

Iain Crawford

U.S. Department of State

George McCleary

University of Kansas

David Retchless

Penn State University

Thursday October 9, 2014 10:30am - 12:00pm
City Center A Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Attendees (25)