Usability and User Expectations for Online Map-Based Data Visualization Tools: The Ocean Navigator Case
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In the past, mapping applications and programs were primarily used by professionals in the geographical information world to assist in the type of geospatial analytics research they would be performing. However, mapping applications are becoming more accessible to and more utilized by the general public. Ocean Navigator is a modern mapping application that helps visualize various types of ocean data. This study assesses the usability of Ocean Navigator through a think aloud participant observation method paired with the well-established Likert scale tool, the System Usability Scale. It was found that participants are able to meet the typical information needs of the expected user, users perceive Ocean Navigator as usable but not extremely so, and some users translate their expectations from consumer tools to niche tools like Ocean Navigator. These findings are contextualized with the previous literature, and limitations are discussed. Recommendations for immediate modifications and future research are presented.