The Future of Geographic Information Displays from GIScience, Cartographic, and Cognitive Science Perspectives (Vision Paper)

Authors Tyler Thrash , Sara Lanini-Maggi , Sara I. Fabrikant , Sven Bertel, Annina Brügger , Sascha Credé , Cao Tri Do, Georg Gartner , Haosheng Huang , Stefan Münzer, Kai-Florian Richter

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Author Details

Tyler Thrash
  • Department of Geography / Digital Society, Initiative, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Sara Lanini-Maggi
  • Department of Geography / Digital Society, Initiative, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Sara I. Fabrikant
  • Department of Geography / Digital Society, Initiative, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Sven Bertel
  • Center for Interaction, Visualization, and Usability, Hochschule Flensburg, Germany
Annina Brügger
  • Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Sascha Credé
  • Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Cao Tri Do
  • Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich / ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Georg Gartner
  • Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, TU Wien, Austria
Haosheng Huang
  • Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Stefan Münzer
  • Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim, Germany
Kai-Florian Richter
  • Department of Computing Science, Umea University, Sweden

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Tyler Thrash, Sara Lanini-Maggi, Sara I. Fabrikant, Sven Bertel, Annina Brügger, Sascha Credé, Cao Tri Do, Georg Gartner, Haosheng Huang, Stefan Münzer, and Kai-Florian Richter. The Future of Geographic Information Displays from GIScience, Cartographic, and Cognitive Science Perspectives (Vision Paper). In 14th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 142, pp. 19:1-19:11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


With the development of modern geovisual analytics tools, several researchers have emphasized the importance of understanding users' cognitive, perceptual, and affective tendencies for supporting spatial decisions with geographic information displays (GIDs). However, most recent technological developments have focused on support for navigation in terms of efficiency and effectiveness while neglecting the importance of spatial learning. In the present paper, we will envision the future of GIDs that also support spatial learning in the context of large-scale navigation. Specifically, we will illustrate the manner in which GIDs have been (in the past) and might be (in the future) designed to be context-responsive, personalized, and supportive for active spatial learning from three different perspectives (i.e., GIScience, cartography, and cognitive science). We will also explain why this approach is essential for preventing the technological infantilizing of society (i.e., the reduction of our capacity to make decisions without technological assistance). Although these issues are common to nearly all emerging digital technologies, we argue that these issues become especially relevant in consideration of a person’s current and future locations.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Human-centered computing → Geographic visualization
  • visual displays
  • geographic information
  • cartography
  • cognitive science


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