GIS Thoughts

Don’t mess with the map !

Its interesting to observe the amount of concern, it appears, has been generated by the BBC TV decision to change how they display their weather maps.

Comments have focused on the use of brown rather than green to represent “Land” on the graphics, the use of animation rather than symbols to represent rain or snow events and the use of a perspective or globe view form of representation – something becoming increasing popular in mainstream GIS tools such as ESRI’s ArcGlobe.

What is most interesting is that none of this technology is new, and many other TV stations have been using interactive graphics for more than a decade, it appears that an organisation like the BBC will always draw more attention because it is so much part of everyday life – and you and I, the general public, really don’t like change.

This is something we at the Ordnance Survey recognise through bitter experience, you change the look of a national icon with great care – but you do have to make changes!

It is important to really exploit the potential on animation and interactive graphics to display complex information, and when used well, this technology has many advantages over static graphics, not least that it is possible to communicate more information in a short period of time.

Personally I’m a sucker for something new and quite like the new BBC graphics, but then I liked the ethnic tail designs British Airways tried a number of years back!

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

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