Many websites advertising trail-based tourism opportunities include some form of interactive map showing trail location, infrastructure, and points of interest. These maps are however often limited in both usability and utility. This project uses a user-centred design approach to determine the needs of users of the Walk the Yorke Trail. Two specific cartographic methods made possible by modern cartographic frameworks, context adaptive cartography and participatory functionality, are implemented and assessed.
The Walk the Yorke trail is a recently formed 500km long trail following the coast of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The trail caters for a wide variety of users, providing routes for both walkers and cyclists, and offering trail sections varying from wheelchair accessible concrete paths near major tourism to remote bush tracks and beach walks. Whilst the trail therefore has excellent potential for attracting a range of tourism markets, trail information is difficult to access online. Only static PDF maps and textual section advertisements are available through the trail’s site, basic information providing insufficient information to navigate the trail successfully.
A web presence is essential for advertising tourism opportunities in today’s world. Likewise, maps are essential for enjoying travel-based opportunities such as long-distance recreational trails. Many websites advertising trail-based tourism opportunities therefore include some form of interactive map showing the trail location, infrastructure, and points of interest. These interactive maps are often either difficult to use or provide very limited information. There are very few maps utilising the interactive possibilities and extensive cartographic customisation made possible by modern web frameworks. Likewise, very little research has been conducted generally on touristic trail cartography and none specifically on how recent technological developments may be utilised to improve both the usability and utility of trail web maps.
The proposed research will use a user-centred design methodology to research the cartographic needs of users of the Walk the Yorke Trail, South Australia, create a web map attempting to meet these needs, and assess the success of this map. Two specific cartographic tools will be used, proposed in early literature and now possible with modern frameworks. The first, context-adaptive cartography, involves designing maps for different trail user groups and making these accessible through a simple menu system. The second, participatory functionality, allows users to share spatial information and access up-to-date information from other users and trail managers. The user-centred design loop will be iterated three times. Firstly, a prototype web map will be developed based on general user research. Secondly, this prototype will be improved through assessment by trail managers and key stakeholders. Thirdly, this prototype will be further improved through assessment by general users. Finally, the resulting map will be summatively assessed by both users and managers.
The proposed research will generate a working example of some of the possibilities of modern cartographic web frameworks, a variety of qualitative information on user needs, and a review of the success of various cartographic methods used to meet these needs. This information will contribute towards the lack of current literature on web-based trail cartography, providing suggestions for developing new and improving existing trail maps.
Time & room
4.00 pm–4.15 pm in City Rooms
Mr Joshua Gore
University of South Australia
Date & venue
Friday, 25 October 2019 at the Adelaide Convention Centre