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Map plasticity

by   Christian Kray, et al.
Universität Osnabrück
University of Münster

With the arrival of digital maps, the ubiquity of maps has increased sharply and new map functionalities have become available such as changing the scale on the fly or displaying/hiding layers. Users can now interact with maps on multiple devices (e.g. smartphones, desktop computers, large-scale displays, head-mounted displays) using different means of interaction such as touch, voice or gestures. However, ensuring map functionalities and good user experience across these devices and modalities frequently entails dedicated development efforts for each combination. In this paper, we argue that introducing an abstract representation of what a map contains and affords can unlock new opportunities. For this purpose, we propose the concept of map plasticity, the capability of a map-based system to support different contexts of use while preserving usability and functionality. Based on this definition, we discuss core components and an example. We also propose a research agenda for realising map plasticity and its benefits.


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