Once the maps were designed, how did they circulate among Web users? Analyzing cartographers’ discourses firstly sheds light on their aims to publicize radiation data, to maintain a neutral stance and to pressure public authorities to release radiation data. Secondly, the messages published through the Safecast mailing list the EX-SKF blog are analyzed to show how maps can be tools for Web users to cross-check other sources or to step in on a controversial point.
When map designers are interviewed or present their work, they mention several goals. The relation to the data is again prevalent, as well as the quality of the graphical representation:
– Several cartographers emphasize their aim to make a “more accessible” representation of the radiation data through a map.
– They mention their wish to refrain from commenting on the danger associated with the reported data.
– They present their maps as “neutral” information channels and deny any responsibility for the data shown, no matter how unsettling these may be, by presenting themselves as “publishers” only.
– If some cartographers use maps as a lobbying tool, they do not get involved in the debate on the dangerousness of the radiation levels but only on the absence or low quality of online data.
Designing a map is firstly presented as a way of obtaining a depiction of the radiation status in Japan. Marian Steinbach emphasizes the lack of available ...