The effects of climate change will bring about changes locally. Global warming is anticipated to result in more extreme weather events, such as storms, floods and landslides. Because of that, local authorities need to increase their ability to assess the possible impacts of weather-related hazards. One of the major objectives of the NORD-STAR project is to disseminate the results of the vulnerability assessment to the decision makers in Norway with the use of the specially developed a map-based visualizat ion platform. The platform usability is therefore of significant importance to the program success, it has to be designed in a way that is easy to understand and utilize by target users, so that this knowledge can be applied in a decision-making process.
The main objective of this project is to perform a usability assessment of the geovisualization platform designed for the NORD-STAR project. Another objective of this research is related to a considerable challenge within geographic information science: developing design rules of an effective interactive geographic visualization for knowledge extraction and decision making.
The usability of the geovisualization platform will be evaluated by an empirical study with help of several methods. A multi-method approach will enable a comprehensive usability evaluation and will answer questions about the platform's usability (e.g., possible users' expectations towards the platform), extent and quality of extracted information, users' opinions on applied forms of data visualization or embedded functionalities. The concluding remarks from the empirical research are meat to be suggestions for later platform improvement. Due to a close collaboration with the developer of the platform, conclusions are intended to be implemented into the platform, improving its functionality and making it more user-friendly.