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Articles | Volume 1
15 Jul 2019
 | 15 Jul 2019

Extending Exploration and Navigation Capabilities of the Atlas of Switzerland

Michael Schmuki, René Sieber, and Lorenz Hurni

Keywords: Atlas, Exploration, Navigation, Search, Map-Index, Timeline

Abstract. The 3D national atlas application Atlas of Switzerland – online (Sieber et al. 2015) currently consists of over 160 thematic maps. Many of them contain multiple datasets over time which themselves are composed of over 400,000 map objects in total. Together with more than 20,000 geo objects (e.g. municipalities, mountains) the sheer amount of information is difficult to perceive, explore and navigate, especially for new users of the atlas.

The goal of this research is to enable users to grasp the breadth and depth of information in a digital thematic atlas, help them to easily find the information they are looking for and also enable them to explore and navigate through information over spatial, temporal and thematic dimensions.

With this contribution we will present how this challenge is being addressed by a situation analysis, the deduction of concrete measures, as well as the implementation of those suggested exploration and navigation capabilities in the atlas application itself, as also the underlying geodatabase and GIS pipeline.

The presentation will give an overview of how those capabilities where identified and implemented. As well as lessons learned during the research, the current state of the application (including a demo) and future work in this area.

In order to give a sense of what to expect, two current shortcomings and possible improvements are illustrated as examples.

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