A Verbal Approach to Characterizing the Look of Maps
It is proposed that a systematic, reasonably objective attempt be made in cartographic design to specify design goals for individual maps and collections of maps by means of several levels of verbal descriptors. By making verbally explicit his aesthetic and functional goals, in terms of polar-opposite word pairs (similar to the technique of the "semantic differential"), the cartographer is better able to assess his success or failure in map design. In addition, outside evaluators of his work (e.g., map users, map reviewers) will also be able to critique cartographic design more specifically and effectively than. has been possible in the past.