Guidance for uncertainty assessment and communication: checklist for uncertainty in spatial information and visualising spatial uncertainty

05-09-2006 | Publication

Uncertainty in spatial information and how to present it. Developments affecting the environment and nature often include spatial components. In the publications of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) this spatial information is presented as maps. To interpret these maps correctly, we need to know how uncertainty might affect the values and patterns presented on the maps.

Information on the uncertainty becomes essential if map values approach governmental standards or guidelines. In this report a number of suggestions to researchers have been included about dealing with uncertainty in spatial information.

The report supplements the "Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication". Suggestions have been condensed into an eleven-point checklist of which the main issues are: (i) options for representing uncertainty in maps, (ii) static and dynamic presentation methods, (iii) the role of spatial resolution, (iv) selection of legend classes and (v) the importance of meta data. The checklist is supplemented by examples, ranging from effective to less appropriate methods of presenting uncertainty. The report is not only relevant to researchers at the MNP and other organisations, but because it explains the research methods used by MNP, it will also be useful to decision makers for policy and those preparing policies.