Sustainable Development Goals and Visualizing Small Island Developing States
Small-scale thematic maps help to visualize world-wide data, yet small nations can be difficult to discern or are omitted completely. This occurs for small island developing states (SIDS), a group of more than fifty states recognized by the United Nations for their social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Through this study we proposed and evaluated alternative maps to increase the perceptibility of SIDS using indicator data of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals link social, economic and environmental objectives to achieve globally by 2030. Five cartographic solutions were refined to one based on input from two focus groups of geoinformation scientists and cartographers as well as an interview with a SIDS resident. The selected map was evaluated by a larger audience in an online survey. Most survey participants had some experience with SIDS, worked in international organizations and/or had graduate-level degrees in a geographic-related science. While recommendations for improvement were provided, nearly seventy percent of the participants agreed the presented design was appropriate to represent SIDS in choropleth world maps.