Chesapeake Bay Watershed Web Maps

A classical challenge for the cartographer is how to present and clearly communicate large quantities of information to their intended audience. Web mapping has opened new possibilities for creative solutions, but arguably effective presentation techniques are still few and far between. Watersheds present a perfect example of data intensive landscapes paired with the need to convey vast amounts of information to the general public.

In 2003, Chesapeake Bay “Watershed Profiles” was an effective interactive map for general public exploration.  While some may consider it less sophisticated by todays web-map standards, there are features I still love and rarely see incorporated in interactive maps today. For example, as the user drills down, the maps change in detail and scale, and the well selected graphs and charts are automatically updated to reflect the sub-watershed view. Users can navigate among tabs to explore landscape, demographics, water quality, and more. The map view/scale remains consistent when users navigates among the tabs.

Its a good example for creators of interactive maps in which a lot of data need to be conveyed to a public audience.

While the Watershed Profiles is not currently available, I managed to find a screen shot of the site from my own archives.