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"What happens in Glasgow? Web map framework comparison from dynamic data visualisation perspective." K. Kotan. M. Roper. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2016. Download PDF (BibTeX) ASE

When it comes to web mapping it is always a pressing challenge to decide which mapping technology fits best the requirements. There are numerous frameworks on the market all having advantages and disadvantages which make them suitable for some purposes better than for the others. There are projects comparing frameworks, but no research has been made on finding the best framework for displaying changing data. This research focused on comparing three web mapping frameworks from dynamic data visualisation perspective: Leaflet, Openlayers and Google Maps. The comparison included both developer's and user's perspective.

To provide a platform for the comparison two maps were built, which displayed different dynamically changing data. The first visualised live flight traffic data above Europe while the second displayed live road traffic events and the car park occupancy levels of Glasgow. The research also measured the effectiveness of the dynamic data visualisation techniques used. The maps used various type of live data, for which different techniques were used such as heatmaps, moving icons, appearing and disappearing icons. Specific constraints were set which the maps needed to meet. The developer side comparison was based on how difficult it was to meet the constraints. To determine which map is the best from the users' perspective a questionnaire was used. The research provided detailed comparisons of the frameworks from dynamic data visualisation perspective as well as revealed the advantages and disadvantages of the frameworks. As an output of the research the effectiveness of the different visualisations was worked out. Also the best frameworks from both developer and user perspectives were identified.