NACIS Annual Conference Question:
Posted 28 August 2006 - 11:52 PM
Say, NACIS may already be doing this and I've just been missing the boat, but in receiving mail over the summer for the Madison conference this fall (the first NACIS event I can FINALLY attend!), I have yet to see any custom maps of the Madison area, hotel property and/or sights and attractions that has been provided with any of the materials. Might this type of thing be a GOLDEN opportunity for a few of us to be designing maps that we can effectively leave with the city/hotel as a way of getting a little P.R. and/or spread a little "goodwill"?
Just about every conference I exhibit at, I ask the association/organizers if they would like me to develop custom maps of the city/area where the event will be held, as well as directions to the host location and the occasional maps of the interior of the conference facilities. It's generally a BIG hit with attendees and the hotels where the meetings are held, although it hasn't really been much of a money-making strategy over the past 6-7 years. But that's not necessarily the point.
At any rate, as a conference of map designers, it seems to me that we could convince at least a handful of attendees to develop some quick and attractive maps of the areas that will be important to attendees from year to year that might just get the association and/or a few of its members a little added visibility out there. I know that our firm has a grand total of zero clients in the City of Madison, so something like event maps and/or maps of the hotel would seem to be a nice way to get a little exposure. I have to imagine that other NACIS members would benefit as well.
Just a potentially CRAZY thought late on a Monday evening. If I see any Control-C/Control-V MapQuest maps with magic-marker or clipart on top of the images in any of the printed conference materials though, I think I might just scream.
Posted 29 August 2006 - 01:07 AM
I remember last year there was a map of downtown Salt Lake City at the main registration desk where everybody could pencil in their recommendations for eating/drinking places. The ultimate community mapping project.
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Posted 29 August 2006 - 02:19 AM
While the base map is simple and cannot be customised, hotels and recommended restaurants can be tagged on the map. Photos taken at the conference itself can also be posted later for the benefits of those who can't attend.
On The Road Cartography
Posted 29 August 2006 - 07:19 AM
mike [at] purplelizard.com
Posted 29 August 2006 - 07:22 AM
Posted 29 August 2006 - 07:48 AM
The program, posted online is a good description of the sessions and I think past programs are also available to look at on the NACIS website.
Overall the annual gathering is less conference and more like Burning Man ...just kidding... but it is somewhat informal compared to big ESRI events or AAG, yet well run. There are no commercial display booths so if that is what you want you will be dissapointed. Attendances in the low 3 digits but varies depending on the location. It gathers alot of good people and provides a chance to show and discuss your work in a collegial environment. Some social functions, a geography trivia contest, the Map-off and a banquet what else could you ask for. I've made alot of friends at these events and plan to attend every year. It is a good opportunity to network and talk shop with other map fanatics.
Posted 29 August 2006 - 07:55 AM
The things I liked most about the NACIS conference (last year was my first time) were:
- The large amount of useful information. I've never thought "Oh, I can use that!" so much at other conferences. Practical Cartography Day, which is not really a part of the NACIS conference itself (it's an extra-cost item when you register) is of course the pinnacle of that.
- Great atmosphere. A lot of people, all involved with mapping, albeit from different perspectives. All map-nuts I liked the informal atmosphere.
- Lou offering drinks to everybody
- An interesting location (for me as a European anyway)
So there was no doubt for me: I signed up for this years conference again.
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Posted 29 August 2006 - 08:52 AM
- The large amount of useful information.
Glad to hear such praise - ultimately this was what attracted me to NACIS - and the really great people foster the social events afterwards. Unlike conferences that offer a huge range of content across disciplines, NACIS is totally map-centric. Usually people are surprised to realize they have very little free time, because virtually every session is compelling. With such a relatively small demographic of working cartographers, the networking is very helpful. Attendance averages around 200.
mike [at] purplelizard.com
Posted 29 August 2006 - 09:52 AM
Posted 29 August 2006 - 10:18 AM
But I have to imagine, with the legacy of cartographers coming through Madison, that the town has no lack of such maps. Wether the business community recognizes that is another concept entirely. The NACIS community usually does have a local coordinator who produces a simple map catered to the needs of Nacites, distributed at the registration table, and perhaps Denis will confirm. A few NACIS members have commercial ventures in Madison as well.
Thanks Michael. Yes, I know that Madison is a sort of "hotbed" within the mapping community. However, I guess I've just been surprised that a map designers conference such as NACIS hasn't either distributed pre-existing, cool/fun/cutting-edge types of map designs of the area for the conference OR solicited attendees to design said maps for distribution at the event. It's kind of like sitting in an MBA classroom, talking about all of the ways an organization can improve efficiency and/or the quality of its products and services....only to watch that institution spend 6-7 figures annually to hire outside consultants to tell them how to accomplish those EXACT same goals.
We will have TREMENDOUS map design talent in attendance at NACIS, and I guess I thought that it would be folks' chance to really shine and try and develop some new/experimental stuff related to moving all of us from Point A to Point B during the event. If that's not something that people really do at this conference though (developing maps of the area in which the conference is being held), that's fine. Just an idea! If I have ten ideas per day on things such as this, I always tell our designers that if only nine of those ideas end up in the recycle bin, it was a good day!
Posted 29 August 2006 - 10:19 AM
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations
Posted 29 August 2006 - 10:43 AM
Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:06 AM
There has been some discussion that two commercial firms with preexisting detailed maps of Madison may distribute them to conference attendees.
Anyone else is welcome to make and distribute cool maps at the conference. If you bring 150 copies, we'll put them in the conference packets.
Something that we've added in the last few years is the Map Gallery, where you can just pin up examples of your work or maps you think are interesting for any reason. For me, 10 minutes looking at maps is worth an hour of hearing someone else talk about them, so I have always wanted the Map Gallery to be the centerpiece/conversation-starter of the conference, the place where people stand and comment about what they like and don't like and how did he do this and where would you get this data and so on and on until we need either sustenance or brewed beverages.
Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:47 AM
I LOVE your Map Gallery idea! That's actually kind of where I was going with my initial "Maps of Madison" idea. It could be pre-existing maps....it could be maps that attendees specifically design in advance of the conference each year.....it could be some cutting-edge or "far out" stuff that people want to experiment with related to subject matter, type, color, texture, etc. I guess I have just been hoping that at a map designers conference, we could "push the envelope" a bit, if you will. If there are 150 attendees at the event, I'm sure that at least 5-6 people would be willing to submit some imagery for critique and review. Heck, even make some type of annual conference "award" or something....developing a couple of categories of map awards related map designs for the city that we are visiting every year.
I don't know....it just seems as though NACIS would be the perfect chance to try some of that kind of stuff. We're all busy, of course! However, if people wanted to try some fun/new things for _________ (Madison in 2006), it might be a fun addition to the annual conference going forward. Just a thought.
Posted 29 August 2006 - 01:15 PM
That's how we kick off the conference: with the Map-Off. Five entrants covering the same subject using essentially the same data. "Judges," and then the audience, offer comments about the map designs.
I'm sure that at least 5-6 people would be willing to submit some imagery for critique and review.
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