Attractive Vectormaps: A Call for Well-Arranged Webmaps
If a user has a choice between two maps he/she will often use the map with the 'better' design. This means a map, besides being readable, should be visually attractive, comparable with other maps and eventually deliver some tools to navigate and interact with a map. A further problem is that a lot of maps are not always self-explaining by default. SVG offers some possibility to make maps well designed.
The readability is dependent on several factors: e g. the chosen colors, used fonts or minimal dimensions for symbols, line-styles and fill-patterns. The article is pointing to basic principles for designing visually attractive maps.