Archive for December, 2012

Cartography News Roundup

“Today, Google Maps for the iPhone has arrived. It’s free, fast and fantastic.”
Google Maps App for iPhone Goes in the Right Direction-Review

“You can get 98% of stuff on maps right, and people who use it will remember the 2% you got wrong until they die.”
While Apple Regroups, Google Offers a Maps App
Reactions on quote from twitter include @atanas “Isn’t that true about everything?” and @whisperangela “In most cases, we did nine things right, and one thing wrong, the whole credibility was ruined. I call it: 9 + 1 = 0.”

“The approaches presented here offer landscape architecture a long-overdue reconciliation of the depiction of the ground as a site of design with the geological and geographic, the regional and the territorial.”
Current exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Design: Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary

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A Cartographer’s Dual Aim: Artistry and Technical Perfection

We saw the Colorado Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker this weekend. The set was beautiful, the same as last year but no less lustrous, and the dancing perfect. They gave the audience visual complexity and elegance while also minding the technical details. Has your latest cartography project aimed for the same dual achievements?

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Friday Inspiration, Mapformation

Looking for some inspiration? Here are some snippets from mapformation’s cartography collection. Go to their site to see the digital originals.

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The Number One Beginner Mapping Mistake

The #1 mistake that a new cartographer makes is assuming the map is finished as soon as it somewhat resembles a map. There’s a perfectly good reason for this: if you are new to cartography it will take a lot of effort to get from the initial map request, to finding the data, massaging the data, and placing that data on the map. Along the way there is also a lot of time spent investigating which tools to use (QGIS, ArcGIS, Illustrator, oh my!), setting one of them up, and figuring out how to use it.

So when a map that seems like it addresses the original criteria is finally created, it is tempting to call it a day. However, stopping at this point typically doesn’t result in anything close to adequate. At this time the new mapper must stand back and take a critical look at the map, move elements, delete elements, add elements, ask for feedback from others, consider other colors and fonts and icons, and so on. This is the real design work.

Remember: the map is not done the minute a map-like object is placed on a page. This is where the design phase begins!

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Museum Trip: A Few Maps

Large Rotating Relief Globe

Informational Sign for Large Rotating Relief Globe

Aerial Photo Disk: zoom by twisting, move by tilting

Animated Earth History Globe

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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