Qualitative Methods for Research on Mapmaking and Map Use

Trudy A. Suchan, Cynthia A. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (SciVal)


Contemporary cartographic research on mapmaking and map use has a broad mandate and, as a consequence, researchers need a broad suite of methods. Consistent with research developments in other geographic subdisciplines, cartographic researchers now use qualitative methods. They offer the advantage of bringing research closer to the problem-solving realms of mapmakers and map users. Our purpose here is to discuss an array of qualitative methods for mapmaking and map use. Questionnaires, interviews, and protocol methods are used to gather verbal data about mapmaking and map use. Ethnographies produce data from direct observation of mapmakers and users. Maps also are sources for document analysis. We use examples of published cartographic research to elaborate on each of these methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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