Jump to content

 
Photo

NACIS Map Design Survey

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1
Mike H

Mike H

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Location:State College, PA
  • United States

NACIS Map Design Survey

To learn what the mapping community thinks about map design, we are conducting an online survey open through April 6, 2007. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and share your ideas:

http://www.nacis.org...sign/index.html

We will present the results of this survey at the 2007 NACIS meeting in St. Louis and in Cartographic Perspectives, the journal of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS).

Thank you for participating!

Tom Patterson, National Park Service
Martin Gamache, Alpine Mapping Guild
Mike Hermann, Purple Lizard Maps
Alex Tait, International Mapping
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#2
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

Hey Mike!

I'm doing the survey now, and am finding several of the questions to be either "loaded" or rather vague:


7. Compared to manual maps made twenty or thirty years ago, how do you rate the design of digital maps today?


I can answer this a number of different ways. If I am rating "efficiency" and associated cost-effectiveness of map design, digital is MUCH better, hands-down. If I am rating "aesthetics", I'd tend to say digital is worse. If I am rating "accuracy", I might say "about the same" or maybe "better". I'm guessing the question is addressing aesthetics, so I answered the question "worse." Your results on this question though aren't going to be very valid/telling unless the ambiguity of the intended feedback is further clarified.

10. According to a popular definition, cartography is a discipline that combines art and science. Looking broadly at the profession today, how would you rate this balance?


Again, this is an incredibly difficult question to answer. Are we talking about illustrated/bird's eye/oblique maps? Planemetric maps? GIS output? GIS projects are much more of a "Science", in my opinion, while any "drawn" imagery (where an individual is drawing everything from scratch, rather than simply overlaying labels and applying colors/shades/textures to something that has been "drawn" for them via the use of software/data) are MUCH more an "Art". My end of the spectrum lies in "art", but I think the question is being asked with more of a "GIS" spin.....so I'll answer "Equal Art and Science", since I'm not confident that I have interpreted the question properly (almost a null-vote).

13. If you HAD to hire someone to design custom maps for a magazine like National Geographic and the choice was between a GIS specialist with no graphical experience and a graphic designer with no GIS experience, whom would you choose?


Another unclear question, in my opinion. It all depends upon the type of custom maps that "National Geographic" is desiring. Are we talking the plotting of where soldier remains were located on Civil War battlefields, or are we talking about a 3D representation of a particular location (similar to what Alex and Tom discussed in their session at Madison)? I assume the answer that the group WANTS to receive is "GIS specialist", but without a bit more clarity on the TYPE of project being considered, it is impossible to answer the question and/or generate meaningful survey results. In my line of work? Graphic designer....hands-down. However, I don't think that's the type of answer that people are wanting to hear. :) GIS folks are 10-times better at accuracy and scale, while graphic designers are 10-times better at the "pretty" and many aspects related to contrast, negative space and legibility. Which is more important? It depends upon the particular project and intended uses/outcomes. FWIW, I said "graphic designer"...but that mirrors the type of mapping work that I do.

Those were questions that jumped out as me as being potentially vague or poorly-constructed (not a criticism, just some honest, hopefully-helpful feedback). I turned in my survey this afternoon, but those three questions in particular are gonna generate some discussion, before and after the results are in. ;)
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#3
Mike H

Mike H

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Location:State College, PA
  • United States

those three questions in particular are gonna generate some discussion, before and after the results are in.



Thanks for taking the survey. I think more than the three Q's you point out will generate discussion - in fact, that is the point of the survey in many ways. We have no idea how many people will respond, from all over the world, so this will provide an interesting sample for us to sort through and synthesize. It's being posted in many more forums in addition to Cartotalk, and via the 6 degrees theory we'll see how far reaching the survey becomes.

m.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#4
CHART

CHART

    Chart

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 358 posts
  • No Country Selected

Personally I think the survey is a neat Idea. It does mention that it is a Candid survey.
We could all comment on how the survey should be formulated but I think we should just answer it the best we can and enjoy the outcome.

(I posted a comment and forgot to spell check it :huh: )

Cheers,
Chart

#5
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,050 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, Music, GIS, Coffee
  • United States

The questions are very general, but that's understandable and welcome. They provide enough of a prompt to get the wheels turning and that's what matters. I wouldn't be interested in filling out a four-hour questionaire covering all of the bases of cartography.

Can you give us any idea how the questions/responses are going to be shared and discussed at NACIS? I think it would be great if we could discuss the questions in smaller groups for an hour or so, and then all come together and share our thoughts. Large room discussions never work-out that well and you typically only hear from the more vocal members (one or two people). Either way, I look forward to the discussion.



#6
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

We could all comment on how the survey should be formulated but I think we should just answer it the best we can and enjoy the outcome in St-Louis.


Jacques,

Yes, that's a good point. I guess I was just curious to know how folks plan to use/interpret the data that is gathered...since if you put ten of us in a room, you probably have 12 different opinions on what the data is saying (or why it is saying it). :) I wasn't looking to start a debate or sound "negative" though, as I am glad to see (and participate in) any activity which will get people thinking and talking about mapping. I just thought the three questions I pointed out, in particular, are ripe for confusion and misinterpretation as the data is being gathered and interpreted.

Kudos to Tom, Martin, Mike and Alex for their efforts with this! B)
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#7
Mike H

Mike H

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Location:State College, PA
  • United States

Can you give us any idea how the questions/responses are going to be shared and discussed at NACIS?.



We were planning on the usual 20 minute session, but perhaps a roundtable could be done as well. We'll see how the conference schedule works out and what the survey results suggest. We didn't see a clear way to avoid the opinion-oriented responses, I don't know how to phrase such questions so they are cut and dry answers. The rating scale will provide a metric, and we'll see how that plays out. I'd be thrilled if a more 'hardcore academic' was inspired to build upon this to qualify some of the vaguarities - but as you point out, ask 10 mapmakers and you'll get 10 different perspectives. There is no right or wrong answer, we're just curious if the survey results point to any particular directions.

m.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#8
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

There is also a very open-ended comment section, where participants can write in their opinions without constraints. I don't want to curtail discussion on map design from happening here on cartotalk but if you feel strongly about something related to the survey questions or something you want included it would be best to use that comment section rather than or in addition to posting it here.

mg



Can you give us any idea how the questions/responses are going to be shared and discussed at NACIS?.



We were planning on the usual 20 minute session, but perhaps a roundtable could be done as well. We'll see how the conference schedule works out and what the survey results suggest. We didn't see a clear way to avoid the opinion-oriented responses, I don't know how to phrase such questions so they are cut and dry answers. The rating scale will provide a metric, and we'll see how that plays out. I'd be thrilled if a more 'hardcore academic' was inspired to build upon this to qualify some of the vaguarities - but as you point out, ask 10 mapmakers and you'll get 10 different perspectives. There is no right or wrong answer, we're just curious if the survey results point to any particular directions.

m.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->