S. Franges, V. Posloncec-Petric, R. Zupan

Faculty of Geodesy, Chair of Cartography, Zagreb, Croatia


The most important changes in cartography are associated with the development of computer technology and geoinformation systems (GIS), and regarding the function and usage of maps, the accent has been given to cartographic visualisation. Animation, multimedia presentation, internet, Web, threedimensional models, ambitious expert systems, artificial intelligence, cartographic holograms, non-visual procedures, market economy, politics, etc. have remarkably influenced cartography. Cartography is changing – from the one conducted by offers to the one conducted by demands. Maps are changing – from final product giving spatial information to temporary product making visual thinking easier. Maps are the basic means in interactive, real time and dynamic environment used for researching spatial databases connected among each by means of Web. Scientific cartography has the task to develop and research new methods of cartographic visualisation. For that purpose the knowledge about cartographic presentation of spatial data must be connected with the contemporary digital techniques of visualisation. Modern cartographic visualisation encompasses digital cartography and computer graphics. Considering the quality, it is a remarkable change of visual presentation in almost realistic time that leads to better understanding of many spatial objects. Referring to the quantity, it is the possibility of faster and cheaper production of a wide range of various cartographic products – real and virtual maps. In manuals of cartography various demands are stated that the cartographic visualisation should meet. The following three conditions can be therefore demanded: legibility, plainness, and accuracy. Apart from that, the cartographic visualisation should meet also the demands that can be posed upon any graphic presentation. The following is of the greatest importance for the cartographic visualisation: clearness and aesthetics. The tools of cartographic visualisation give users the possibility to carry out extensive transformations and changes of data presentation. Digital tools are being developed continuously, and hence, it is expected that more convincing visualisation tools for the presentation design will appear. The paper emphasises the need for closer collaboration of experts in informatics, geodesists, geographers, spatial planners and others with cartographers. It is pointed out in the paper through examples of various possibilities in continuous development of cartographic visualisation.