H. Wang, Y. Chen

Zhengzhou Institute of Surveying and Mapping, Zhengzhou, China


The legend is an important tool for both traditional paper map and electronic map, especially for statistical maps. Although the electronic map has come into being since mid-1980s, and has got a considerable development after 1990s, only a few people are working on the legend research of electronic map so far. At present, the electronic map legend is faced with a series of problems, which are mainly represented as: (1) The legend design in many statistical electronic maps still continues to use the design methods of the paper map legend, and considers little on the characteristics of the electronic map itself, and still has not gotten rid of the restriction of the traditional legend design idea. (2) The legend allocation method in the electronic screen is inanimate, and it does not conform to people’s spatial cognition custom, which has influenced the representation and transmission of the spatial information. From the analysis of the two problems above, we may find out that the ultimate causation leading to the problems is that the cartographer has neglected the advantage of the electronic map such as flexible design, dynamic design, better interaction and expressive force.

Aiming at the problems in the design of the electronic map legend, this paper has investigated the advantages of the electronic map legend compared to the paper map legend, summarized the characteristics of the electronic map legend in the computer environment, and presented the design principles of the electronic map legend. At last the authors design a new scheme aiming at the electronic map legend allocation problem which is according to the research of the new principles and its application, and realized this scheme in their Statistic Mapping System which designed using VC++ language partly, and have got a good visualization effect.