Volcanic Hazard Visualisation: effective 3D hazard map design for St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Hazard maps have become a fundamental means of communicating volcanic hazard information between scientists, emergency management agencies and the public. They play an important role in informing risk assessments, educating the public and developing and implementing risk mitigation measures. Hazard maps traditionally rely on 2D plan view format but these maps can often be challenging for non-experts to read. This study investigates a new generation of volcanic hazard map that incorporates 3D perspective views and tries to understand what elements need to be considered in effective design for hazard communication. ESRI’s ArcGIS Online has been used to design a 3D web-based interactive volcanic hazard map for the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The map was tested on two groups on St. Vincent; a community group undertaking a data collection workshop and a group of disaster managers involved in a volcanic eruption simulation exercise. The study has shown that choice of base map, map content and cartographic design need to be carefully considered when designing an effective volcanic hazard map with users’ engagement an essential part of the process. The study has explored the themes of interaction, navigation and animation and found that all these additional elements increased users understanding by enabling orientation and highlighting areas of importance. Overall, the results show that 3D maps have the potential to be an effective communication tool aiding orientation and providing an effective illustration of volcanic hazards, communities and infrastructure at risk.