Interface 2003

Web Cartography for Municipal Government: An Accessibility Case Study
Robert M. Edsall, (Arizona State University),


The interactive 2002 Green Map of Tempe, AZ, was influenced by choices typical of all cartographic design (color, symbolization, generalization, layout, balance, etc.). In addition, the creation of the web-based map of ecologically significant sites in and around Tempe was also affected by considerations more exclusive to dynamic maps open to all users. This paper will report on several of these design requirements, including ways to maximize limited screen real estate, methods to accommodate user customization, and means of providing access to the maps to the disabled. This final consideration will be discussed in detail; a 1998 act of the U.S. Congress gave citizens and government employees the right to sue public agencies in federal court if those agencies fail to provide equal access to electronic information to those with disabilities. The Green Map is the first of a series of collaborations between the Arizona State Department of Geography with the municipal government of the City of Tempe. The City is required to address accessibility issues with the information they post on their web site, and this paper will discuss the strategies that were employed (or still need to be employed) by cartographers at Arizona State to bring the Green Map and other Internet mapping projects into compliance with the act.

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