Understanding spatial data usability

G.J. Hunter, M. Wachowicz, A.K. Bregt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In recent geographical information science literature, a number of researchers have made passing reference to an apparently new characteristic of spatial data known as 'usability'. While this attribute is well-known to professionals engaged in software engineering and computer interface design and testing, extension of the concept to embrace information would seem to be a new development. Furthermore, while notions such as the use and value of spatial information, and the diffusion of spatial information systems, have been the subject of research since the late-1980s, the current references to usability clearly represent something which extends well beyond that initial research. Accordingly, the purposes of this paper are: (1) to understand what is meant by spatial data usability; (2) to identify the elements that might comprise usability; and (3) to consider what the related research questions might be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
JournalData Science Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Research questions
  • Spatial data
  • Usability
  • Usability elements


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