First Advisor

Martin Swobodzinski

Date of Publication

Summer 9-12-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Geographic information systems, User-centered system design



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 110 pages)


Modern Geoweb-enabled PPGIS methodologies incorporate interactive map applications as the main driver for public engagement and data collection. However, little research explores exactly how the public interact with these applications to produce spatial data, a fact that contributes to criticisms of final data quality. Usability evaluation offers a solution for developing better PPGIS data production systems by identifying problems in the application interface for which the public engage. Drawing on a case study example of a PPGIS application developed to collect socio-spatial data from members of a random public, this paper addresses usability in a three-stage approach. First, controlled experimentation methods capture performance, preference, and data production metrics. Second, visual and statistical analysis of the captured usability data identify problems in the interface. Results indicate that users learned, became efficient, and were generally satisfied with the application, but also committed errors that may have affected data quality. Third, a solution-oriented critique of the application interface suggests new design options to mitigate future problems in similar applications. The paper ends by providing a conceptual framework for usability as it relates to PPGIS data production and incorporates it into an informed discussion on data quality and future research needs for maintaining the viability of PPGIS projects.


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