Pickle, Linda Williams (2003), Usability Testing of Map Designs, Computing Science and Statistics, 35, I2003Proceedings/PickleLinda/PickleLinda.paper.pdf ,
Maps have the potential to display the geographic patterns of millions of statistical data points, something impossible using a tabular display. A poorly designed map, however, can fail to convey important underlying features in the data or can even distort their true geographic patterns. The National Center for Health Statistics and, later, the National Cancer Institute have conducted an interdisciplinary research program in an effort to improve map design and thus to communicate geographic statistics more effectively. Experiments were conducted on general map style, color schemes, the choice of map category cutpoints, legend design and the representation of reliability of the mapped statistics. We will summarize the results of this research and describe new geovisualization tools now being developed and tested for exploring and communicating patterns in cancer data.