Cybercartographies: Developing Powerful Multimodal Geovisualization Instruments for Understanding & Communicating Geospatial Data

Start Date: 23/12/2019
End Date: 22/12/2022
Funding: Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI)

Maps are not just lines, points, and symbols assembled as pictures. Maps constitute one of the most powerful cognitive vehicles to explore and describe the world, but also to express ourselves metaphorically.

The “We love maps” International Map Year 2015-2016 celebrated by the International Cartographic Association, came at a time when we are more “map-minded” than ever before. The world of ubiquitous computing and “digital natives” is now full of enthusiastic “cartographers”. The way people, especially the youngest, interact with technology, the shift from the “god’s eye view” to any perspective in viewing space, the increase of crowdsourced geospatial data, and the necessity of employing cartographic means to make sense out of big data, have introduced the need to shift the paradigm of cartography and geovisualization to cybercartography. This, amongst others, involves the development of an innovative cartographic language, new visual variables, multisensory representations, multimodal interaction, and tools that help enhance spatial thinking skills and develop truly map-minded spatial citizens.

The project addresses these research needs and meets its objectives in 5 steps:

  1. evaluation of state-of-the-art cartographic cyber manifestations, online mapping tools, and ubiquitous geosystems and services,
  2. analysis on how and if digital technologies and geoservices foster spatial thinking,
  3. analysis of multi-sensory representations and suitable multimodal interfaces,
  4. implementation of new-generation cyber cartographic products, and
  5. development of theoretical and design principles for cyber maps and other visualizations as breakthrough contribution to cartography regenerated.

Τhe project is coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). ILSP contributes to the NTUA team its expertise for connecting Cartography with Embodied, Multimodal Interaction.