Visualizing the wave: how Pacific Northwest communities use tsunami hazard assessment information to design evacuation maps for public education

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
Local officials in the Pacific Northwest of Canada and the United States influence how tsunami hazard assessments guide production of community evacuation map brochures. In both countries, cartographic decisions about brochures' tsunami hazard representation have been inconsistent and not based on user evaluations. This thesis uses cartographic abstraction principles to interrogate the similarities, differences, and limitations of tsunami hazard representations in 38 tsunami brochures for Washington and Oregon communities, and a State-developed interactive map in Oregon. Based on an assessment of tsunami hazard in Ucluelet, British Columbia, this research demonstrates how decisions limit hazard representations and identifies critical tsunami hazard education information that remains unrepresented. Although the literature reveals a need for improved public access to information, Pacific Northwest evacuation maps retain significant information limitations, primarily due the existing 'one map' tsunami brochure paradigm. This research provides a foundation for future evaluation and development of socially situated evacuation map characteristics.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Hedley, Nick
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