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Understanding Today's Online GIS User Through the Lens of a WorldMap Survey

WorldMap is an open source online mapping application which aims to lower barriers for scholars who wish to visualize, analyze, organize, present, and publish mapped information. In late 2013, 290 respondents among the 8,000 registered users participated in an online survey in which they described their activities, purposes, experiences, and preferences regarding the system. Participants also described their professional background, GIS skill level, age, gender, and country of work. This study analyzes the results of the survey, by summarizing the responses to each question independently and by examining the relationships and dependencies of these answers across the different questions to try to better understand why users responded the way they did. The study is based on the user-centered design (UCD) approach. We aim to use the survey results to improve our understanding of user demographics and needs. Findings from this study will be used to guide WorldMap improvements, and we hope the findings will also shed light on the broader requirements of online GIS users.

Publication Date  June, 2015
Author(s)  Guan, Wendy; Poplin, Alenka; Lewis, Benjamin G.
Publication type  Articles