Jump to content

 
Photo

Cartographer vs. Graphic Designer vs. GIS Professionals

* * * * * 1 votes

  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1
A. Fenix

A. Fenix

    Analisa Fenix

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cascadia
  • Interests:Cartography, PGIS, PPGIS, GIS, Urban/regional Planning, Conservation, Biodiversity/Cultural Diversity, Travel, History, Ecology, Geography, Biking, Gardening, Cooking, Physics, Permaculture, Sky diving, Green Roofs, Music (creating and enjoying), Photography, Carpentry, Film making, Writing...
  • No Country Selected

hello everyone,

something that i've been trying to get my head around for some time is what exactly gives someone the "right" to call their work "cartography" and themselves "Cartographers"? in other words, is there specific training/education that professionals need/should have before they can call themselves Cartographers? is a graphic designer's work a map illustration, or cartography? if a GIS professional makes maps of their data, does this then make them a cartographer?

also, are there any publishing or simply professional standards for how professionals with different technical\educational backgrounds should be credited in published work (i.e. graphic designers, GIS professionals, Geographers, Cartographers)?

My educational background is in Geography, Cartography and GIS... to me, this makes me "qualified" to proudly consider myself a Cartographer (as well as made over a thousand maps). yet, i have had conversations (i.e. arguments) with my graphic designer friends that make maps in illustrator and want to be credited as the Cartographer. i have told them that they should be credited as the Map Designer, not the Cartographer. i feel very strongly about this, and i think it may stem from me wanting to protect the integrity of our trade (and my professional livelihood). course, i have gotten so wound up in the divide between graphic design and cartography that i am only now beginning to learn graphic design applications such as illustrator to move my maps further along.

perhaps i've just been too sensitive and extreme in my opinion.

if so, i hope this forum can set me straight!
Analisa Fenix
GIS Manager/Chief Cartographer
Ecotrust

#2
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

ah, the chance to wax academic/philosophic!

i think people who have been through a rigorous cartography-focused education curriculum certainly have the right to protect their definition of cartography, and any attempts to exclude others from the practices of that field will just result in that definition/field being pushed further from the center.

i also believe that professional and academic field definitions often function as power structures that maintain a "closed"-source barrier meant to exclude others more than to "ensure quality". with society, business, and academia increasingly moving towards "open-source" and "transparent" as core values, it seems like arguing for those rigorous definitions will commonly be viewed as backwards and anti-progress.

welcome to the "mashup" generation.... there will be others with counterpoints to all my points, i am sure. :)

#3
Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,310 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

A rich topic indeed (rubbing palms together).

Our GIS collegues recently settled this imbroglio with a GISP certification process. Since this just recently happened it would be wise to review the wonderful comments made both for and against this classification and "standardization."

First of course there needs to be a collective body to "ordain" or administer the certification, and I move that Cartotalk becomes that collective body. It could be NACIS I suppose - but opening it up to everyone for free voting priviledges (join Cartotalk!) is too good to pass up.

I think we should use C.A.R.T. as the acronym, can someone think of what it would stand for?

Is there a quality standard to call oneself a cartographer or are we all born cartographers?

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#4
Sky Schemer

Sky Schemer

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Location:Hillsboro, OR
  • United States

What a great topic!

I would love to some day be able to refer to myself as a cartographer, but recognize that completing a GIS program (which I am currently enrolled in) and just making a couple of maps here and there for fun or for school hardly foots the bill. Any insights into what makes a cartographer vs. a GIS person with access to the tools and the data would be appreciated. ;)

There do not appear to be many degree programs that have a rigorous focus on cartography, and I've yet to find any that have a distance-learning/online option (a must when you also work full time and can't just uproot and move). But maybe I just haven't been looking in the right places...

#5
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

I've yet to find any that have a distance-learning/online option (a must when you also work full time and can't just uproot and move).


Not cartography, but probably covers it in more detail than an undergrad degree. http://www.worldcamp...sterinGIS.shtml

#6
Sky Schemer

Sky Schemer

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Location:Hillsboro, OR
  • United States

Not cartography, but probably covers it in more detail than an undergrad degree. http://www.worldcamp...sterinGIS.shtml


I'm enrolled in the Master's program at NMSU, which has roughly equivalent courses, and a similarly limited number with "cartography" in their name. :huh:

Not that I'm not enjoying the program, mind you...it'd just be nice to find more opportunities for formalized cartography instruction, or for gathering some practical experience.

#7
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,881 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

I think we should use C.A.R.T. as the acronym, can someone think of what it would stand for?


Cartographers Are Really Terrific

Yeah, well, I'm bad at coming up with good names...

As for when one is truly a cartographer, that's hard to say. I always considered cartography to be part science, part art. It's hard to judge art. It's also hard to teach art. It comes with experience... Just my 2 cents...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#8
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

How about Cartographic Aptitude and Reasoning Test? Sooo 1950s... straight, to the point, no frills or fanciness.

#9
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, musical instruments, reading, hiking, craft beer
  • United States

Questions that come to mind...
If a graphic designer knows how to design a great map, shouldn't we focus on the map, rather than what to call the person who made the map? When we critique a map in the map gallery do we critique the level geographical literacy and qualifications of the "cartographer"... or do we primarily make design suggestions like a geographically illiterate graphic designer would do? Can you believe those graphic designing bast$%^s have the gall to call themselves cartographers! Anyone creating maps should be geographically literate, but whose to say who is and who isn't. There are plenty of "C" and "D" geography students who will undoubtedly graduate and start making maps. Do they have the grades to call themselves cartographers?

Rather than "cartographer", I've started using: "A resourceful bipedal primate who creates useful maps for food and fun, but can do a whole lot more!" I think Ben summed it up nicely with his, "welcome to the mashup generation" line. Right-on Ben.



#10
A. Fenix

A. Fenix

    Analisa Fenix

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cascadia
  • Interests:Cartography, PGIS, PPGIS, GIS, Urban/regional Planning, Conservation, Biodiversity/Cultural Diversity, Travel, History, Ecology, Geography, Biking, Gardening, Cooking, Physics, Permaculture, Sky diving, Green Roofs, Music (creating and enjoying), Photography, Carpentry, Film making, Writing...
  • No Country Selected

in the fear that i may have set off a battle, let me clarify that i was hoping primarily to see if there were any standards out there on how we credit ourselves in publications. they can be industry standards, or just what individual group members use for themselves. i should also add that even after all of the time i've spent creating maps, i still have SOOOOO much to learn! much, has been from my graphic designer friends (as in layout, colors, etc.). i have no desire to see a new "GISP" type system for cartography... as for the mash-up generation....

WHOOPEE!

than i can at times consider myself a graphic designer as well :D

something else to add to my resume :lol: ;)
Analisa Fenix
GIS Manager/Chief Cartographer
Ecotrust

#11
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

well i think your first paragraph is what caught everyone's eye :) we all love to get on our soap boxes and reveal our inner philosophy. hopefully no humans are offended, hurt, or maimed during the creation of this thread.

#12
Rob

Rob

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kailua, Hawaii
  • Interests:anything outside.
  • United States

yet, i have had conversations (i.e. arguments) with my graphic designer friends that make maps in illustrator and want to be credited as the Cartographer. i have told them that they should be credited as the Map Designer, not the Cartographer.


just ask them about projections. if they don't know, then they are just map designers.

#13
Nick Springer

Nick Springer

    CartoTalk Founder Emeritus

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crosswicks, NJ
  • Interests:Cartographic Design, Print Maps, Graphic Design, Web Development, Ultimate Frisbee
  • United States

Indeed a great subject!

My educational background is in Geography, Cartography and GIS... to me, this makes me "qualified" to proudly consider myself a Cartographer (as well as made over a thousand maps). yet, i have had conversations (i.e. arguments) with my graphic designer friends that make maps in illustrator and want to be credited as the Cartographer. i have told them that they should be credited as the Map Designer, not the Cartographer.


While I have a degree in geography, the cartographic courses at my university were limited at the time I was there (the only official one I had was writing line simplification algorithms in FORTRAN). I did a lot of independent studies in Graphic Design, and for many years was solely a graphic designer. I eventually found my way back to maps and now make lots of maps for mass market publications without touching GIS or other traditional "cartographic" tools, and still spend most of my days doing user interface design.

Anyone think that I am not qualified to be called a Cartographer? I dare ya ;)

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#14
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

Anyone think that I am not qualified to be called a Cartographer? I dare ya ;)


... well go ahead Nick, tell us about projections :D

#15
CHART

CHART

    Chart

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

There are no Cartographic professional associations that resembles professional associations like those for Surveyors, Lawyers, Dentists etc....

You don't need to pay professional dues to be called (or call yourself) a cartographer.
There is no 'deontology' for cartographers.

So anybody that makes a map can call himself a cartographer.
Chart




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->