Plenaries, Shakespeare, Dots, T-shirts

  • I’ll be giving the closing plenary at the 19th annual California GIS conference in April: CalGIS. Hope to see you there!

  • My favorite Shakespeare quote: “Be not afraid of cartography: some are born mappers … and some have map design thrust upon them.” (Well, at least I think that’s what the quote is. Wink wink.)

  • CNN featured MIT Media Lab’s interactive dot map that shows one dot per person in the U.S. and Canada. If you read the comments you can gain some good insight into how the general public thinks about analytical maps. For one thing, several commenters neglected to realize that the dots are placed randomly within blocks. The general public probably doesn’t know that, while the block is the smallest unit of area for which the Bureau of the Census collects data, a block averages about 100 people, though it can vary from zero to several hundred. For another, some didn’t realize you could “show labels” and “hide labels” with the buttons provided in the upper-right. You don’t have to develop maps for the lowest common denominator, of course, but you do need to keep in mind what that is and mitigate as best as possible. (And I am in no way criticizing the dot map, which is, indeed a fabulous work of Python scriptism.)

  • Thank you to for sending me this great nerd-wear! I am sure that I wasn’t nearly nerdy enough without these t-shirts and the key ring. If you, too, aspire to wear your GIS love on your sleeve, as it were, it looks like is still sending free t-shirts to the first 50 people who sign up to use their forums.

  1. #1 by Keith on January 28, 2013 - 2:25 pm

    Um…not nerdy enough? From the one who analyzes MIT Media Lab maps, quotes Shakspeare (or should I say, “Cartospeare”), and is giving the closing plenary at a conference. :)

  2. #2 by Gretchen on January 28, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    Touché. Nice one: Cartospeare.

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