Y. K. Cheung, W. Chen, Z. Li

Dept. of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Maps have been using for many centuries. Come to the age of mobile technology, maps are still very useful and can be found in a wide range of mobile applications such as logistic fleet management, mobile navigational systems, mobile tourist guide and so on. The traditional map design, however, is not suitable to be applied in the mobile devices due to the restricted mobile devices capability such as low processing power, limited storage, limited input capability and the small display area. Therefore, this research aims at designing map for effective display on mobile devices by summarizing some design issues in developing the mobile map in order to overcome the device constraints. These constraints include both cartographical and technical problems. Cartographically, the map content has to be redesigned to make it appropriate to display in small screen. One of the possible ways to deal with the map design is to simplify the maps according to the user cognition in order to reduce the unnecessary map information to overcome the problem of the tiny screen of mobile devices. In this research, it proposes a content zoom strategy as the key to greatly simplify the mobile map content and also the workload required in map navigation. It concentrates on the simplification over different map information in the map when navigating in the mobile maps. The proposed content zoom strategy is developed from the notion of how the map users obtain the information in a textual address i.e. separating the information one by one from general to details. On the other hand, technically, some technical skills can be applied to further increase the readability after the map simplification such as the progressive map visualization invented by GoogleMap. The notion of the progressive map visualization can further increase the readability for the map users by means of reducing the difficulty and inconvenience when they are navigating the mobile maps. It can, to some extent, display the map faster before the map users lose their interest and it can reduce the problem generated from a refresh of screen. An evaluation will be carried out after the software prototype platform has been done to conclude the proposed techniques are appropriate and useful in mobile map.