In connection with the objectives of this thesis, a thematic atlas visualizing the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was created applying the principles of modern cartography and graphic design. The thematic atlas comprising of 80 maps, 52 charts, and four main infographics provides an integrated source of information in understanding the various aspects of the pandemic besides the usual statistics shown by most maps produced today. This includes social, economic, and environmental aspects covering the topics of containment policies enforced, changes in major economic indicators, and level of pollutants among others. Two types of PDF files were exported for the digital and analog versions of the atlas.
Aside from the actual atlas, a general workflow for atlas creation was also outlined in this thesis. This workflow covers the initial phase of cartographic project definition up to the pre-press stage and user testing. Also, supplementary outputs include the ArcGIS STYLE file and the Adobe color swatch containing the color-blind safe color schemes used in the atlas. A Map Data Visualization Report which contains the symbology specifications used in the maps was also included.
For the user testing, a mix of professionals mostly with non-GIS backgrounds was asked to participate. A total of 25 respondents from various age groups and educational backgrounds answered the survey. There is a good balance in terms of the sex of respondents but the majority of them came from the 25–35 age group, or the young professionals. Aside from the age group, the educational backgrounds of these respondents also reflect the target audience which is composed of those with bachelor's and master’s degrees.
The results of the usability testing were gauged to see also which map and page elements need to be further improved. This has been deemed useful in improving the interpretability of the visualizations and the quality of the atlas in general. Considering that this is the first interaction of the atlas and the user, the performance by the respondents indicates that the atlas is a viable mode of presenting information about the COVID-19 pandemic, although a more robust form of user testing can still be employed in the future to support this. Ultimately, involving the potential map users in the creation process not only provides a holistic approach to map production but most importantly, helps improve the quality of the resulting cartographic work.