The Role of the Map in a Crisis Management Environment: Applying the Theory of Cartographic Communication and Visualization

Ana Kuveždić Divjak, Miljenko Lapaine


Recent crisis situations have revealed various insufficiencies in existing technologies and policies for effective crisis management. In the field of cartography, these have highlighted the lack of guidelines, standards and symbols to design maps specially adapted for communication in crisis management – particularly from the cartographer’s perspective.

Our intent here is to examine the concept and value of cartographic communication model in the specific environment of crisis management. Based on the definition of cartographic communication and visualization, an attempt is made to distinguish the roles of crisis management maps, in order to differentiate between situations in which crisis participants use them as means of communication, and those in which they serve as tools to assist visual thought processes. On the selected cartographic examples, we aim to show that the successful cartographic displays have a defined structure, and that it is necessary to take into account the principles of cartographic design in order to achieve the effective communication of information.


cartography, crisis management, cartographic communication, geovisualization

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