Geovisualization: a framework and case-study analysis for effective climate related visualization

Date

2021-05-05

Authors

Goudine, Alexei

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Abstract

The impacts of climate change have resulted in the need for adaptation tools to provide stakeholders with the ability to respond to a broad range of potential impacts. Geovisualizations serve as powerful engagement tools due to their capacity in communicating complex climate data to various audiences. Studies have shown a preference towards conveying climate data through geo-visual representations, to quickly present ideas rooted in geographical challenges and solutions. However, a rapid pace of technological advancements has paved the way for an abundance of geovisualization products that have eclipsed the necessary theoretical inquiry and knowledge required to establish effective visualization principles. This study addresses this research gap by conducting a structured review of the geovisualization for climate change literature, and creating a conceptual framework that classifies existing geovisualization products into themes relating to visualization features, audiences, and the intended outcome or purpose of the visualization medium. The Climate Visualizations for Adaptation Products (CVAP) framework, is a tool for researchers and practitioners to use as a decision support system to discern an appropriate type of geovisualization product to implement within a specific use case or towards a particular audience. The process of developing a geovisualization software tool for displaying sea ice probability (SIP) in Arctic regions is detailed, in the context of suggested best practices for web development. Challenges and opportunities encountered while adhering to the best practice protocols and guidelines are examined. A usability evaluation is suggested to assess the general user attitude towards a website or service. Finally a summary with conclusions and suggestions for future research are provided.

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Keywords

geovisualization, climate visualization, climate adaptation, geovisualization framework, web-based geovisualization, usability evaluation framework

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