In the full map layout, the map is the focus of the app and large enough to fill the entire screen. The core value of the app is spatial information.
Spatial analysis allows people to get insights and discover relationships in geospatial data. The way this rich data is visualized directly impacts how users can solve complex location-based problems. The map view is the core value of the app. Providing a larger and more complete view provides analysts and GIS experts with the geographic context necessary. These users spend long periods of time interacting with the data and need to see as much of the map as possible. The full map layout helps maximize the level of detail and minimize the number of distractions from other components.
Use full map layout when the value to the user is the map itself, as in performing complex analyses or viewing assets in relation to their current location. Taking over most of the screen real estate helps focus on the display and analysis of spatial data in an interactive environment.
There are circumstances when full map layout, which often includes other map tools that overlap the map, is not the best choice. The situational aware-ness, safety, or security industries, for instance, always require their operators to see the complete picture. In these cases, it is not acceptable to cover potentially important data with floating panels, and a partial map layout is the better choice.
Provide an interactive map that takes up all or most of the screen canvas and operates as a single-page app. Place navigation and interactive tools on top of the map, usually in the corners. Arrange these tools in logical groups and position them in a balanced fashion. Limit the number of tools that float on the map to avoid obstructing important content and maximize the visible map content.
Adding a title to the map helps people understand its purpose. This can be accomplished by either adding a separate header section (preferred) or floating text on the map itself. In the latter case, consider adding a drop-shadow effect to distinguish it from the underlying map layers.
Pay extra attention to the cartography, and don’t settle for default symbology. Correct and precise data display in full map layouts is paramount to the success of the app. Scale-dependent symbology and labeling helps provide the right information at the right scale.
It’s safe to assume that expert users often have higher GIS proficiency. Apps geared to that target audience can therefore apply more advanced mapping capabilities and user interactions.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses a full map layout to highlight its crop data. Instead of having floating panels on the map, the tools are in the banner area, where users can easily access them. The tools are arranged by anticipated sequence of use. The first step is to find a particular area (location finder) and then filter the data using either a spatial filter (select area and define area) or an attribute filter (filter crops). Finally, users want to run the analysis and export data. The only tools that remain on the map canvas are common features that control the appearance of the map itself such as zoom control, home button, timeline slider, basemap gallery, and layer list.
Single-page application; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-page_application (accessible: 11/3/2020)
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