Communicating information for development: A cartographic approach

Felicia O. Akinyemi, Monika Sester, Olayinka Y. Balogun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In developing poverty reduction strategies, poverty and welfare maps are made based on estimated values for use in decision making. Targeting public resources is better achieved with information derived from these maps. This use of poverty and welfare maps in shaping policy practically illustrates information use for development. On poverty maps, for example, poverty estimates are depicted as graphic symbols through which information is transferred to the map user. This paper investigates how effective these maps are as graphic communication media. A cartographic approach is adopted to examine the symbolization of poverty and welfare maps with the aim of enhancing their design. Eight criteria were developed and used to infer map communication effectiveness in the context of poverty mapping. These criteria are interpreted as map defects and major ones are overlapping class value, problems with symbol type, choice of color scheme and class differentiation which are all related to map symbolization. Map symbolization challenges within the poverty mapping context are related to the need to visually perceive shared spatial patterns between two related variables, highlight units with high poverty levels as well as emphasize high and low points in a poverty or welfare data. This paper illustrates how to address these by applying basic cartographic principles. These principles are generic to all kinds of maps, but it is their applicability to poverty and welfare maps that is paper's focus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalElectronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems


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