Atlas Trends

3707.4 - Platform Statatlas - A Platform for cross-media Atlases and new dissemination ways in atlas cartography

Monday, July 3
5:10 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Maryland B

Since 2009, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) employs a central platform for the production and the dissemination of interactive thematic maps and three online atlases, containing by now app. 10,000 maps. This platform rests on a Content Management System (CMS) which takes charge of the management of all necessary geodata and metadata, of the whole cartographic production, of the structuring of contents, and it finally ensures for an Online dissemination.

From the beginning, the CMS was developed to be cross-media, and it allows to issue various formats from the initial maps presented in these Online atlases. Maps can be exported in AI and PDF formats, which will serve as base for the print and digitals publications. Finally, these initial maps can be integrated into interactive “mini-projects” in the form of HTML iFrames, which can be embedded on any webpages as well as into digital publications for apps and mobile devices. This last method preserves the interactivity of maps and proves useful to produce small thematic "atlases", simpler to apprehend and smaller in content and size. This allows for example to spread thematic maps for the results of the Swiss popular votes through many government and private websites four times each year.

After many years of experiences with Online atlases, the FSO is finally going to publish a popular statistical atlas in printed form again in 2017. It is aimed for a non-expert audience and wants to promote public statistics by picking certain interesting subjects from the wide range of our Online atlases. The contents will show the most important themes of swiss public statistics (population, economy, politics, environment, etc.) in an educational and playful way. Heading into the same direction, the use of icons as proportional symbols will support the attractiveness side of the cartographic representations. This new method is an originality and a special feature of this atlas. Within the framework of this project, the cross-media capacity of the platform is further exploited, and will allow to edit this atlas in a "classic" way (Print), but also to disseminate it in an app using HTML 5 format. This compatibility and the use of new forms of media is essential to attract also a younger audience, and the interactivity allowed by electronic formats increases the attractiveness generally.

Huge changes took place during the last decade in the field of the data visualization and Web mapping. The dissemination possibilities are vast and decentralized today, they can be for free or expensive, the making of visualizations (under the most diverse forms) is easier and faster, allowing for a mass production maps never seen before. Finally the interactive character that stems from these new technologies engenders new possibilities of analysis and explorations of data, for all kinds of institutional and private actors.
At the same time, mass production of cheap maps results in the problem of structuring the information and the facilitation of its access, especially in atlas production. In that context, the possibilities of FSO’s atlas CMS helps to multiply the ways of distribution, to simplify and to structure the access to the information by proceeding to a selection and by adopting a clear storyline. This capacity makes it possible to produce in a single movement one map or one atlas in various complementary formats and thus overcomes the technical dividing lines between classical printed and exhaustive, but often monotonous Online atlases.

Olaf König

Head of production unit
Swiss Federal Statistical Office

Having completed a Bachelor in human geography, and then a Master in urban studies in the faculty of Geosciences and Environment of the University of Lausanne, I work since 2015 for the Federal Statistical Office, in the cartography competence center ThemaKart, as head of production unit.
I’m responsible for the management of the production, the data management and the map edition, the development of our offer within our statistical interactive atlases and the development of the application.
My main fields of interest are thematic cartography and webmapping, analysis and visualization of statistical data, design, ergonomics and structuring of the information.


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3707.4 - Platform Statatlas - A Platform for cross-media Atlases and new dissemination ways in atlas cartography

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