Aesthetics >> Field research
Field research among (potential) users of the cartographic works is part of the applied methodology of assessment of cartographic works in terms of aesthetics and user-friendliness.
The main aim of field research is to include the users in the assessment of cartographic works (methodology which also reflects the user’s requirements and specific characteristics). In such case knowledge from humanities can be used, e.g. sociology or psychology, and their specific methods (see the publication for the even Activities in Cartography = Aktivity v kartografii - 2006).
Some publications (especially the project leader´s diploma thesis - 2005 and the paper in the anthology of the 17th cartographic conference - 2007, Lucie Hrstková´s bachelor thesis - 2007 and the article arising from the thesis - 2008, the paper for geographic conference in Liberec – 2008) deal with the particulars of applying the methodology.
Theoretical viewpoint on the involvement of the user in the process of assessment of cartographic works is described in the contribution for the symposium CEE 2009.
General procedure during field research:
1. Selection of several representatives of a given part of cartographic production (up to now school world atlases have been assessed - 2004/2005, as well as tourist maps - 2006/2007, road maps - 2007/8, plans of Prague – long-term research, cartographic aids for foreigners in Prague – currently being processed);
2. Before the field research as such criterion-bases research is conducted by the researches, except for quantifiable values the result is represented by a list of positive and negative reasons for preference of maps;
3. Selection of respondents and decision on their optimum number, selection of research localities, research timing, methodology – questionnaire, interview, survey…;
4. Field work – cooperation with researchers (senior students of geography and cartography who undergo a brief training and thoroughly study the methodology);
5. Field research result aggregation;
6. Assessment of interrelations between users´ answers and users´ characteristics;
7. Synthesis and evaluation of the frequency of users´ verbal answers;
8. Synthesis of researchers’ observations;
9. Overall assessment summary.