L.M.B. Barros, M.M.S. Decanini

Post-Grad Programme, Cartography Departament, Presidente Prudente, Brazil


School Atlases are often used in Geographic domains of elementary and high schools to help the children in geographic and spatial perception development, with regard to subject matter in school. The advantage of School Atlas is to integrate several graph forms (maps, text, charts, schemes, drawings, pictures etc), which allowed map-thinking and spatial understanding. However, students and teachers find difficulty to handle maps, possibly due to misunderstanding of cartography concepts and consequently map reading. For that reason Thematic Cartography has been improved with interactive and animated resources provided by digital environment. The Multimedia Cartography is a powerful tool in the teaching of Geography, as the interactivity and animation variables attract students and teachers. Additionally it instigates them to explore the resources and provides strategies to lead users to a correct interpretation of map contents. An Interactive Eletronic School Atlas was designed and produced in order to guide teachers in Cartography Education. This Atlas was developed in two stages: Cartographic Design (user demand analyses, general composition design including the geographic data modeling, graphic design and interface design) and Production (geographic data base implementation and acquisition and Atlas Interface). The Geographic data base modeling is based on Geo-OMT approach in order to systemize the comprehension about the real world objects and phenomena, so that those can be suitably represented in an information system. The Atlas implementation was developed in Microsoft Visual Basic v.6.0 and ESRI MapObjects v.2.1. The animation resource used was created with Macromedia Flash Mx 2004 Educational version. Cartography multimedia resources, like animation, interactivity and hyperlinks, can help to customize School Atlas to the students’ interest and experience. Therefore this can increase the efficiency of a School Atlas to Geography teaching.