Grappling with visualization and spatial data expectations

I often find papers like this can be very theoretical and I can struggle to grasp the real crux of the research, but I found that Elwood presented some fairly theoretical topics clearly by providing examples. [something about the other paper]

As spatial components of new tools and technology become increasingly ubiquitous, I find that there is now an expectation for data to be presented spatially, and some disappointment when it’s not available. These papers made me think about how I expect spatial information to be easily available and consumable for me. For example, just discussing where to go skating with some classmates, we were irritated with the idea of having to use a website that just listed the rinks with their general location (http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=5977,94954214&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL) and were thrilled to find the alternative which provided the skating rinks mapped across the island (http://www.patinermontreal.ca) – to be honest, I was fully expecting a mapped version to be available and would have been shocked if there wasn’t. ¬†Apartment-hunting without Padmapper or similar is pretty miserable, since “where” is usually the most important variable in any potential home. Clearly non-GIS users have grown to have a higher level of spatial literacy with products from Google and spatial functions in technology, but they are also coming to expect consumable spatial information to be available.

-Kathryn

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