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Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 379-396; doi:10.3390/fi3040379

High Quality Geographic Services and Bandwidth Limitations

*  and
GIScience-GIVA, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, Zurich 8057, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 August 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
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In this paper we provide a critical overview of the state of the art in human-centric intelligent data management approaches for geographic visualizations when we are faced with bandwidth limitations. These limitations often force us to rethink how we design displays for geographic visualizations. We need ways to reduce the amount of data to be visualized and transmitted. This is partly because modern instruments effortlessly produce large volumes of data and Web 2.0 further allows bottom-up creation of rich and diverse content. Therefore, the amount of information we have today for creating useful and usable cartographic products is higher than ever before. However, how much of it can we really use online? To answer this question, we first calculate the bandwidth needs for geographic data sets in terms of waiting times. The calculations are based on various data volumes estimated by scholars for different scenarios. Documenting the waiting times clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the problem. Following this, we summarize the current hardware and software solutions, then the current human-centric design approaches trying to address the constraints such as various screen sizes and information overload. We also discuss a limited set of social issues touching upon the digital divide and its implications. We hope that our systematic documentation and critical review will help researchers and practitioners in the field to better understand the current state of the art.
Keywords: online maps; virtual globes; high resolution data; bandwidth limitations; level of detail; cartographic design online maps; virtual globes; high resolution data; bandwidth limitations; level of detail; cartographic design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Coltekin, A.; Reichenbacher, T. High Quality Geographic Services and Bandwidth Limitations. Future Internet 2011, 3, 379-396.

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