For our second group project we decided to veer away from our original idea of creating a walk-through of exhibits or all 16 of the phones that we decided to discuss for the project. Instead, we created this interactive map that would serve as a stand alone kiosk booth in a museum that people could view and interact with. This map has 16 points(the color-coded dots) that mark the places where all the phones were gathered from in order to set on display in the museum. The map is very interactive and allows viewers the ability to click on any of the points on the map where then a box will pop up, displaying a summary of the phone, a variety of other information and specifications about the phone, and a link to a picture, are all provided. The process was slightly difficult and required the group to gather a significant amount of data and then properly incorporate the data into the interactive map. The process was lengthy and time consuming yet quite interesting. We were able to create something that we may have thought that we could not and learned a few things in the process of doing it.
The mechanics of a map are what make up the compilation of information and research that are used to create the map. Mechanics are what make the map relevant to the data it is meant to represent or make the map worth looking at. In most maps, mechanics include the general information of what the map is showing and any background information that is placed along with the plots of the map. Below is an image of a map that shows specific store, bathroom, restaurant, parking, and other various locations and points of interest in the Old Town Square Mall in Webster, Arizona.
In comparison to our map, this map does not offer near as much relative information about each point of the map like our map does. With each specific point of our map, the viewer/user of the kiosk interactive map is given the ability to click on each different point(16 different points) which represents a different phone that was collected from that area of the globe. Upon clicking each point/dot on the map is a summary of the phone and also includes information such as: model number, physical description, maker of the phone, date it was released, measurements, location of the exhibit of the phone in the museum, link to a picture of the phone, the exact location and coordinates of where the phone was from, and various other information regarding the specifications of each phone. Below shows the information that is attached a specific point on the map, in this case the information that is presented relates to the iPhone marker on the map.
To compare the two maps in terms of the information that is displayed on for each point on the map, below is an image of the description that is provided on a single point on this shopping center map. In this case, the image shows the relative information that is given concerning the store Easy Spirit.
Clearly, our map gives a much greater amount of data for each point on the map that can be clicked on. Compared to the interactive kiosk map that is used by this shopping center, our interactive kiosk map provides people with a deeper, more detailed outline of each point on the map. It is clear that there was very little-to-no research conducted upon each of the points on the shopping center map, whereas the information provided on each marking/point on our map was found through extensive research on each of the 16 phones that are presented on our map. The map of this specific shopping center serves its purpose by providing small amounts of concise descriptions regarding each store in the mall, however if the viewer/user of the kiosk map wanted anymore details concerning a point of the map, they would be out of luck due to the lack of description of each point of interest. The most important function of a map is to provide information relative to the locations that the map explores.
When it comes to an interactive kiosk map, the dynamics incorporated into the map are crucial, considering that it is an interactive map. When adding special dynamic abilities to a map it is essential that the map is easy to navigate, understand, and has a few features that make the map interesting. Overall, the dynamics of a map are going to be what allows the user of the map to explore the map in an interactive way that offers the user a unique way to interpret and explore information.
In our interactive kiosk map we provide the user with a variety of ways to get a full hands-on experience of the map. We were able to use a program that allows the user to view our map in a global satellite view which offers a chance for the viewer to explore the map with a life-like vision of the different points of the map. Since this map is in a satellite view with a clear view of terrain as well as having countries, states/territories, cities, and other various relative locations marked, the viewer can get an idea of exactly where each phone came from relative to the other points on the map. In addition, this map gives the user the option to fully zoom in or out and even get a street view of the marked locations on the map as well as any other location on the globe. Below is a link to a map with similar dynamics as ours. This map is an interactive map of the various points of interests of the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont.
This particular map has many similar qualities that our map does, however our map still provides a little bit more interactivity than this one does. This map allows the viewer to click on whichever point that he or she wishes but that is the extent of it's dynamics. It does not enable the user to scroll in or out, move freely across the map, nor does it offer and extra links embedded within the description of each point. Comparing this map to ours in the situation of both being part of a kiosk booth at a museum, our map significantly outdoes this map in the dynamics department by offering way more interactive capabilities than does this interactive museum map.
One thing that a map must do in order to seem relevant and worth looking at, is it must grab the attention of potential viewers. The use of aesthetics is critical when creating a map that will potentially be viewed by hundreds of people each day. The map has to have such qualities that absolutely make it unique visually and make bystanders curious enough to want to view and interact with the map. Basically, the map must be pretty, nice, and polished.
When we constructed our map we made sure that it would be visually appealing and that it looked professional to ensure a sense of credibility to the map and the information it is displaying. We made our map unique and separate from other maps by adding just a few simple qualities that make it appealing and visually pleasing. As previously stated, our map was created using a program that shows a satellite view of the globe, which in itself is a unique way to explain exactly where the 16 different phones displayed in our museum exhibits came from. Along with this, the map offers viewers the ability to look at high quality pictures of each phone which demonstrates strong mechanics and dynamics with the link that was added to each point that shows an image of the phone from the selected point, but this also displays aesthetics with the use of the picture. Since our map is displayed in a satellite-type view, the map is very detailed and colorful so that the attention of people at the museum is captured. Besides the actual color of the map, each point is resembled using color-coded circles that attract the viewer's attention to click on that point. To compare our map to a map possessing similar qualities, the map of the Old Towne Square shopping center is pictured again below.
This map actually does a decent job of adding aesthetics as it is very colorful and each area of the shopping is color-coded. However, this map is a very typical map that can be seen in similar forms at almost any shopping center or museum. The map does not offer a real-life like picture of this shopping center which, in fact, if it were more realistic it could not only be much more visually appealing, but it could also serve to help people who may be confused to better understand their location and the map as a whole. In addition, this bland map offers absolutely no urgency or realism to its appearance. Overall, this map fails to offer a truly appealing visual effect on its viewers and therefore fails to attract attention which is the main reason of adding solid aesthetics to a map.