Atlases

Atlas Trends

3707.3 - From Physical Campus Space to a Full-view Figure: University Atlas Compiling Based on ‘Information Design’ Concept

Monday, July 3
4:50 PM - 5:10 PM
Location: Maryland B

Motivation:Traditional campus maps are mainly around roads, buildings, zonings and landscapes, which provide the spatial information service, such as facilities search, wayfinding and navigation. However, such maps don’t fully explore the inherent propaganda function and expand the connotation of social communication media. Thus it’s difficult to become a space-time metaphorical carrier to assist university to successfully shape its figure. In the trend of form variety and function diversity, it is a new and interesting challenge to integrate the elements of the university figure with maps and explore the model called university narrative maps.
Therefore, we choose East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, China as an example. And we set integration of infographics as the basic concept, let ‘information design’ guide it, and try to design a prototype atlas of ECNU – ‘ECNU Impression’. The original data are mainly from the university archives, history museum, official website, annual reports and other official information. And its target audiences are teachers and students, management and leadership, cooperative agencies, alumni, potential students and so on. The visual strategies mainly utilize thematic maps, which integrate texts, pictures, statistical charts and conceptual graphs. The atlas can describe the spatial pattern, history, environment, sceneries, achievements, development strategies and spirituality through a series of innovative perspectives.
Narrative architecture:According to the non-professionals cognitive needs and characteristics of the various audiences, we reconstruct the logical framework of the content and achieve the balance between overview and focus for designing a conceptual prototype. We set ‘Where-When-What-Who-How-VIS’ as the narrative clue and ‘What’ is subdivided into ‘scenes-objects-events’. So according to this, we categorize the atlas into 6 chapters to arrange the themes like facilities, landscape, history and culture, discipline construction, cooperation and exchange, social services, and development planning. In each chapter, we highlight the representative propaganda materials. Among them, sightseeing routes, development strategies, service domains, students’ origin all enrich the narrative topics and readability of the atlas.
Integrative Information Design:We integrate the frontier theories and techniques of information design, overcome the limitation of expression methods of traditional thematic maps and unite different visualizing forms to tell the thematic data stories. On the one hand, we strengthen the creativity of visual elements with variety of infographics, and customize symbols and charts to meet the data’s characteristics, and enhance visual impacts and attractiveness. The other hand, the layouts are content-driven with no fixed pattern. In the facing pages of 530 * 265mm, it flexibly configures various forms of visual roles and relationships, and breaks the structure laws which are dominated by the maps. Meantime, we breakthrough the traditional form of campus maps, while expand the micro-scale campus to multi-hierarchies with the city, country and world scales. On multi-scale vector maps as well as remote sensing images, all kinds of topics can be located through typical temporal scales. In addition, according to aggregative semantics, different chapters match corresponding theme colors. It is convenient to index and balance the diversity and consistency of different thematic maps.
Evaluation and conclusion: Innovation-driven information design of atlas can fully exert the advantages of spatial expression and visual narrative effects, which enrich the information organization mode of "space + topic". The implementation of university atlas compilation extends thematic map applications. Using maps as information communicating platform to meet the university propaganda demands is also an extension of the traditional functions of campus maps, which accomplishes the transformation from the physical space description to a full-view figure shaping. So that, the atlas can be a new visual media for university propaganda and a creative card which helps the public comprehensively cognize the university.

Ge Song

master candidates
Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Sciences (Ministry of Education), East China Normal University;School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University

Ge Song,a second grade postgraduate in the School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, majors in Geographic Information System. And the research direction is thematic map/atlas design and compilation. The title of the article is 'From Physical Campus Space to a Full-view Figure: University Atlas Compiling Based on ‘Information Design’ Concept'.

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Xi Tang

associate professor
Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Sciences (Ministry of Education),School of Geographic Sciences,Institute of Cartography, East China Normal University

Xi TANG earned his B. S. and Ph.D. degree from East China Normal University, Shanghai, China in 2005 and 2010. He is currently an Associate Professor of School of Geographic Sciences and Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science (Ministry of Education, China), at East China Normal University, where he serves as a researcher with the Institute of Cartography. His research interests focus on thematic map\atlas design, spatial planning cartography, map symbolization as well as geo-infographics. He has been working on numerous mapping projects, for example production of a ‘Climatological Atlas for Tropical Cyclones Affecting Northwest Pacific (1981-2010)’.

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Feng Zhu

Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Sciences (Ministry of Education), East China Normal University;School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University

A postgraduate in the School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University
Major: Geographic Information System
Research Direction: thematic map/atlas design and compilation

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