Probabilistic seismic hazard estimates are a key ingredient of earthquake risk mitigation strategies and are often communicated through seismic hazard maps. Though the literature suggests that visual design properties are key for effective communication using such maps, guidelines on how to optimally design hazard map are missing from the literature. Current maps use color palettes and data classification schemes which have well-reported limitations that may inadvertently miscommunicate seismic hazard. We surveyed the literature on color and classification schemes to identify design criteria that have empirical support for communicating hazard information. These criteria were then applied to redesign the seismic hazard map for Germany. We isolated several communication goals for this map, including essential properties about moderate-hazard seismic regions and a critical hazard threshold related to the German seismic building codes. We elucidate our redesign process and the selection of new colors and classification schemes that satisfy the evidence-based criteria. In a mixed-methods survey, we evaluate the original and redesigned seismic hazard maps, finding that the redesign satisfies all the communication goals, and improves users’ awareness about the spatial spread of seismic hazard, relative to the original. We consider practical implications for the design of hazard maps across the natural hazards.
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Schneider, M., Cotton, F., & Schweizer, P.-J. (2023). Criteria-based visualization design for hazard maps. Natural hazards and earth system sciences, 23(7), 2505-2521. doi:10.5194/nhess-23-2505-2023.
- https://publications.rifs-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6002547_4/component/file_6… https://publications.rifs-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6002547_4/component/file_6… https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-23-2505-2023-supplement
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