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How to design a better user interface for geographic information?
|| 10/2/2007 || 9:58 am || Comments Off on How to design a better user interface for geographic information? || ||

aka “How do we show this data better?”


I normally don’t comment on the hundreds of YouTube videos I watch each week, but I couldn’t pass up this video. In my opinion, I don’t think anyone in this video studied geography extensively. The way they approached the creation of a User Interface for geographic information did not seem to be well formed as if it came from the mouths of those who have learned the fine art of coding. Great psuedocode, but no without the geographic insight to present the information effectively.

“Neighborhood data” is census data, which has coverage throughout America. A local business wants priority placement on nearby google searches. If anyone searches for a plumber the nearest plumber’s contact yellow page ad should appear as the first result. Followed by a sponsored ad from SC Johnson Inc. for Draino. Its not so much how the business is listed, but how the business is found.

I see how the video is really about the creative process in teamwork at google, and how it doubles as recruitment material, but those answering the questions fail to comprehend the freely available demographic data availble to Google from their own personal information profiles to the published geographic data, and most importantly the means to present spatial information on a Google map, or even doing so with a more elaborate User Interface.

The woman in the green shirt, Nina, a software engineer, jokes about knowing the data, but if the user already has a google account quite a bit of information is known about the user- like where they are located. Yet, she seems to be the only one with a sense of how a UI might be redesigned.

Suggestions: YouTube commercials of local businesses, different icons for categorical data, nearby blogs, User comments, Similar User searches, a sponsored link to Draino for the plumber search, and more geographers.

And maybe these shades of color might make a better location-based UI when using aerial or satellite imagery. Unless of course the imagery is outdated.



Post Title: How to design a better user interface for geographic information?
Posted in: Google, Google Maps, YouTube



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