Visualizing Digital Atlas Information Products and the User Perspective

C. Peter Keller


The digital revolution and associated advances in multimedia and electronic information transfer have opened hitherto unthinkable opportunities for atlas design and distribution. As a result, the status quo of the conventional atlas is being challenged by a research community eager to move towards sophisticated digital atlas products. The assumption made by the digital atlas research agenda is that atlas users share the researchers' enthusiasm for digital atlas products. It is argued that contemporary advances in digital atlas design are driven by computing innovations; that is, researchers are embracing faddish technologies to advance imaginative new atlas products with little attention given to the atlas user community's wants and needs. It is proposed that the design of innovative digital atlas products be paralleled and influenced by atlas consumer research. Atlas user surveys are called for to evaluate the market's reaction to conventional atlas products and to test the atlas users' willingness to use and pay for innovative digital atlas products.


electronic atlases; atlas; digital atlases

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