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Rethinking Map Legends with Visualization
November/December 2010 (vol. 16 no. 6)
pp. 890-899
This design paper presents new guidance for creating map legends in a dynamic environment. Our contribution is a set ofguidelines for legend design in a visualization context and a series of illustrative themes through which they may be expressed. Theseare demonstrated in an applications context through interactive software prototypes. The guidelines are derived from cartographicliterature and in liaison with EDINA who provide digital mapping services for UK tertiary education. They enhance approaches tolegend design that have evolved for static media with visualization by considering: selection, layout, symbols, position, dynamismand design and process. Broad visualization legend themes include: The Ground Truth Legend, The Legend as Statistical Graphicand The Map is the Legend. Together, these concepts enable us to augment legends with dynamic properties that address specificneeds, rethink their nature and role and contribute to a wider re-evaluation of maps as artifacts of usage rather than statements offact. EDINA has acquired funding to enhance their clients with visualization legends that use these concepts as a consequence ofthis work. The guidance applies to the design of a wide range of legends and keys used in cartography and information visualization.

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Index Terms:
Cartography, design, Digimap service, legend, online web mapping, visualization
Jason Dykes, Jo Wood, Aidan Slingsby, "Rethinking Map Legends with Visualization," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 890-899, Nov.-Dec. 2010, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2010.191
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