Facilitating the Handling of Interactive Atlases by Dynamic Grouping of Functions – The Example of “Smart Legend”

  • Juliane Cron
  • Samuel Wiesmann
  • Lorenz Hurni
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Over the past few years, interactive atlases have been extended by new functions and interactive techniques. Zooming and panning, switching layers on/off, changing classifications and colouring, as well as interactive queries are standard features nowadays. Related multimedia information such as diagrams, text, images, videos and animations, are linked to the geographic entities. Interactive atlases turn more and more into sophisticated Multimedia Atlas Information Systems (MAIS). At the same time, it has become increasingly difficult for atlas editors and developers to arrange this impressive wealth of information, functionalities and interactions in a user-friendly way. A possible means for enhancing the usability is the sophisticated grouping of functions in so-called “Power Tools” within the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the atlas. As an example of such a tool, the transformation of the legend into a “Smart Legend” is shown. Unlike other atlas components, the functionality of the legend in interactive maps has hardly been touched by developments in the past few years, and the advantageous methods of interactivity are mostly omitted in map legends. The great hidden potential of such a tool can crucially influence the development of new atlases in the future.


interactive atlas legend structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliane Cron
    • 1
  • Samuel Wiesmann
    • 1
  • Lorenz Hurni
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of CartographyETH ZurichSwitzerland

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