Z. Wu, Y. Chen

Zhengzhou Institute of Surveying and Mapping,Department of Geography Information System, HeNan, China


Having been widely studied, tourist paper map symbols are vivid on the color and form. But tourist web maps, which generally adopt geometrical symbols, are comparatively dull. How to absorb the excellence of the former to make the latter more vivid is important for web map design. Tourist web map, just as its name implies, performs online, and its large numbers of users with different demands spread all over the world. So the authors applied an online experiment method to study tourist web map symbols and implemented the experimental system. After obtaining and analyzing the experimental data, the authors improved the symbols gradually until an excellent tourist web map symbol system was established.

Subjects of the experiment are users with different education, different specialty, and different ages. Through the registration, the users basic information was collected, which is indispensable for the experiment. The experiment includes three steps: 1) user cognitive test on several existing symbols of one certain tourism factor, which were collected from tourist paper maps, tourist web maps and public signs for tourism. Symbols with dissension and bad consistency were made into BMP symbols with white background, and then users would do an evaluation though several choices and text input; 2) user cognitive test on each redesigned symbol, which would replace all the symbols if they cant fulfill users visual perception demand in the first step; 3) user cognitive test on maps with the symbol system produced in the above two steps, some symbols with dissension should be adjusted.

The experiment results show: most symbols collected couldnt directly fulfill the demands and needed redesign; users are interested in the design of the symbols, and put forward plenty of advices; users prefer vivid symbols to the dull ones; new symbols need a great expansion along with the tourism resources become increasingly abundant.

The experiment was designed and implemented using ASP combined with Access database under the Dreamweaver 2004. The multi-framework made the symbols visible all the time. The web maps were published through MapXtreme. Users advices were showed on the message board.

The first part of this article briefly introduces the background and aim of this study; the second part introduces the online experimental system design; the third part describes the experiment process and some analysis of a part of experiment data; and the last part gives a conclusion.