Variables of Aesthetics in Maps

  • Felix Ortag
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Cartographers do not continuously work to strict rules when they design a map, some map elements are mainly designed by personal preferences, experience and habits. In this process the map creator considers aesthetics. In order to optimise this part of mapping it would be useful to know the variables of aesthetics: Which graphic elements and attributes of a map are considered when it’s beauty is assessed? Colours, line styles, relief visualisation, font types, legend, map margin, overall impression, symphony of colours, composition, …?

This chapter gives an overview of aesthetics in cartography and presents the results of a focussed interview which was done with 152 persons, where three exemplary topographic maps were compared to find out, how the beauty of maps is assessed.


Test Person Graphic Design Golden Ratio Visual Variable Line Style 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Ortag
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geoinformation and CartographyVienna University of TechnologyAustria

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