Author: Médard De Chardon, Cyrille
Groundwater systems are inherently complex owing to their three-dimensional nature. The impacts of land use activities on groundwater quality and quantity, groundwater pumping, and the interaction of groundwater with surface waters are fundamental hydrogeologic concepts that require effective communication strategies. Using interactive visual interfaces may improve upon current educational techniques and encourage increased public participation in groundwater protection, conservation, and management. As part of a Canadian Water Network project, this research explores different methods of visualizing hydrogeologic concepts in order to identify interface variables that may improve public understanding of groundwater in the Okanagan Basin. Three groundwater education interfaces were designed and developed using Scalable Vector Graphics, Cellular Automata and principles from geovisualization and interface research. Interface development and empirical usability testing yielded results and observations that led to a set of geovisualization, interface design, and methodological recommendations that may help improve future public groundwater education interfaces.
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