How do map readers recognize a topographic mapping style?
1Ory, J.; 2Christophe, S.; 3Fabrikant, S.; 4Bucher, B.
Each National Mapping Agency produces a specific map product with a particular visual appearance that we define as a topographic map style. In this paper, we focus on the specific graphical characteristics of the designed topographic map product. We present the results of an empirical user study, aiming at identifying and assessing main graphical characteristics used by map users to recognize and to characterize the IGN-France topographic maps style. Our results suggest that 91% of the participants were able to recognize an IGN-France topographic map amongst other topographic map products. With this user study we are also able to distinguish which graphical characteristic play a role in map style recognition, either by the visual memory or by the visual perception. We have identified that the relief representation, including contour lines and the shaded relief, is one of the major graphical characteristics of IGN-France topographic style. Moreover, the representation of touristic POI, toponymy (and its lettering), the primary roads network and the forests are also essential for the participants.