A Bit More on Ignorance

Posted: June 8, 2012 in GIS
Tags: , ,

Occasionally found an article that have some relation to my previous post. The article has an intriguing name: “The Influence of Map Design on Resource Management Decision Making“. Unfortunately it is not in open access, so I wasn’t able to read it. Also abstract omits conclusions… And I would prefer to see study of the real cases… Nevertheless here you are:

  Abstract
The popular use of GIS and related mapping technologies has changed approaches to map-making. Cartography is no longer the domain of experts, and the potential for poorly designed maps has increased. This trend has raised concerns that poorly designed maps might mislead decision makers. Hence, an important research question is this: Can different cartographic displays of one data set so influence decision makers as to alter a decision that relies on the mapped data? This question was studied using a spatial decision problem typical for decision makers in a resource management agency in the United States (the USDA Forest Service). Cartographic display was varied by constructing three hypothetical map treatments from the same data set. Map treatments and other test materials were mailed to Forest Service District Rangers. All District Rangers received the same decision problem, but each received only one of the three map treatments. The participants were asked to make a decision using the decision problem and map treatment. Information about the decision and the influence of each map treatment was obtained through a questionnaire. The research and its implications for map-based decision making are presented and discussed.

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