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Common metrics for web-based mapping applications in academic libraries

Ningning Kong (Purdue University Libraries, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Tao Zhang (Purdue University Libraries, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Ilana Stonebraker (Purdue University Libraries, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish common metrics for web-based mapping applications to facilitate user decision making and enhance information providers’ product design.

Design/methodology/approach

The metrics were developed from a combination of literature review and case studies. From the literature review, the authors identified three major areas of assessment for web-based mapping applications. The authors then studied six online applications to refine the metrics.

Findings

The results suggest that web-based mapping applications can be evaluated from three major aspects: data content, geographic information systems (GIS) functionality and usability. The authors have developed detailed measures for each factor through the evaluation of the six applications.

Practical implications

The metrics developed from this study could be used as a standard for online spatial information users to choose appropriate products according to their needs. It can also provide valuable information for data providers to improve their products.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that has systematically examined web-based mapping applications in academic libraries. Results from this study could be a valuable tool for librarians as well as general information users without background of GIS and usability to evaluate online mapping resources.

Keywords

Citation

Kong, N., Zhang, T. and Stonebraker, I. (2014), "Common metrics for web-based mapping applications in academic libraries", Online Information Review, Vol. 38 No. 7, pp. 918-935. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-06-2014-0140

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited