Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Map Visualization Fail Series: #2 Using Animated Icons

I came across this map the other day and it demonstrates my Visualization Fail #2, do not use animated icons on your maps. Once I got past the all of the eye candy that was going on I noticed that there were a lot of items that I loved about this map.

Using animated icons on your map makes for a very difficult map to focus on. The animated icons pull the users eye from every other point on the map mudding up the full spatial story. Getting the entire story across to the end user is critical to realize the full potential of what you are trying to convey.

This map uses animated icon that includes dancing flames to show the location of Short sale and Foreclosure listings. While these property characteristics might warrant flaming houses it makes for a real distracting map when trying to separate from other listings. My eye gets pulled across the page every time I pan or adjust my view and makes it difficult for me to understand the spatial story for the rest of the area.

What can be changed to make this map better:
  • Use a color to denote Short sale and Foreclosure. If you want to highlight something that might be a problem use a red or orange color to tell the users brain that this is undesirable.
What I like about this map:
  • This map uses the full screen so that the user is immersed into a full map experience
  • The legend is front and center so that the user can easily reference what is being displayed
  • The filter form is also front and center allowing the user to display exactly what they are looking for
  • There is a note at the bottom left that shows how many properties are not mapped
  • They have a nice featured areas list that allows for easy navigation
  • They are using the standard Bing map controls that leverage the map experience the end user gains from visiting other sites
  • When hovering over a property the end user can view details of the house without having to leave the map
  • I like that the map starts out in aerial view. We are looking at properties here and the map aerial is a power resource to tell that story
What I would like to see in the future:
  • Trend mapping to show real estate stats in the area
Overall I give this map an 8 out of 10 and find it very useful. What do you think?

Map Visualization Fail Series: #1 Using Hash Lines Confuses the Story

Happy Mapping!!

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Map Visualization Fail Series: #2 Using Animated Icons! A Post By - @SkipCody http://bit.ly/oaFKd8 #GIS #MAP

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