User Experience Optimization in Geo-portals for Data Discovery
This research focuses on user experience of Geo-portals for citizens to discover geospatial data online. The misguided design ideas in the last decades encourage engineers to focus on their own behaviors rather than citizens’ experience. Therefore, most geo-portals are imitating desktop GIS data management software, such as ArcGIS, which is not designed for data discovery, resulting in that current geo-portals with cluttered information are too technical for citizens to discover one piece of geospatial data. According to previous studies, citizens want a single piece of geospatial data instead of interacting with the geo-portal. As a result, a better content architect was proposed to satisfy citizens’ goals. The question is how to offer an overview of available geospatial data across political boundaries with one click of a button for the absolute beginners. With new technologies and user behavioral studies, a new method was proposed in this thesis to involve more citizens in the open data movement. The new approach integrates existing geo-portals into one platform which has the ability of interacting with the APIs of the existing portals. The design of the interface to this platform is centered on the easiness of data discovery for non-specialist users of geospatial data. Analysis shows that the developed platform is easy, fast, and intuitive for users to discover geospatial data. Future study should focus on the automation in adding new data discovery gateways or data depositories into the new platform.
Open Data Movement