Choosing Tools: Nine Metaphors of Four-Dimensional Cartography

Phillip J. Gersmehl


Animated maps are now technically and economically feasible. Like other forms of cartography, map animation has some unique design considerations, which involve a variety of tradeoffs. Making these tradeoff decisions is easier if we acknowledge that different animation software packages seem to embody a number of different perspectives - a 'flipbook' style of animation, for example, is suited to different tasks than a 'stage-and-actor' or a 'model-and-camera' program. This paper contrasts nine different animation metaphors, with special attention to the degree to which a given tool allows a cartographer to make particular kinds of revisions.


animated maps; four-dimensional mapping; 4D

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