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#1
One

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Hi. I'm One and I just joined.

I joined so I could have an interview with a cartographer.

So, if you are a cartographer, could you please answer these questions?

What is your real name?

When did you start cartography?

What inspired you to become a cartographer?

Where did you go to college?

What degree do you have?

What was your first map of?

What company do you work for?

How many maps have you made?

Are you working on any maps right now?

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?


Please answer in full sentences and will good details.

Thanks very much, Zach.

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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What is your real name?
Hans van der Maarel

When did you start cartography?
In school, 1995. I graduated, and started in the real world, in 1999.

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
I've always had an interest in maps and when I visited an open house of the college I ended up going to, I felt like I belonged there.

Where did you go to college?
Hogeschool van Utrecht in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

What degree do you have?
B.Sc in Geo-Informatics (which is a mix of GIS, cartography and a bit of surveying and photogrammetry)

What was your first map of?
I can't remember, must have been some school project. The first non-school-project map was one that I produced at my first trainee post. That was a general overview map of The Netherlands.

What company do you work for?
I work for Red Geographics, which is my own company (self-employed)

How many maps have you made?
Don't know, definately hundreds, maybe thousands. But production time can differ a lot for different maps, literally from seconds to weeks.

Are you working on any maps right now?
I will be after I finish answering your questions ;)

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
Mixing art and science, virtually visiting the world. It's also great at parties, trying to explain what I do :)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
James Hines

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What is your real name?
James Hines

When did you start cartography?
2000 in school but had to wait till late 2007 to get any projects in the real world, in between 2004 & 2007 I had to work in this sweat shop called the grocery business, oh wait I still am :( but alas I'm working hard towards my goals rate now & I'm prepared to say good riddance to my welfare cheques ;)

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
my interests are astronomy, politics, geography, the military, history, mathematics, & science. It was logical to chose cartography, although I do peer in the sky & think of the future when one day when stellar cartography becomes our next step in evolution for our industry

Where did you go to college?
The Centre of Geographic Sciences, (GOGS)

What degree do you have?
Cartography -- Digitial Mapping Diploma, I prefer to call it an Associates Degree

What was your first map of?
in school my first map was of Canada hand drawn from memory, in the real world a trial project called Brookside

What company do you work for?
The only way I can even get experience thank-you Nova Scotia for promoting a cheap labour force & high taxes; (There is almost no market for GIS/Cartography here), is by starting my own company called Annexmaps.com

How many maps have you made?
one real client project, :rolleyes: but alas I'm trying, really trying, something will give eventually ;)

Are you working on any maps right now?
No! I'm busy writing proposals so I can make those maps. ;)

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
Statistics, without no doubt because simply I enjoy looking at the trends

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#4
P Riggs

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I am a cartographer and spatial modeler. I enjoy the cartography, the modeling is my bread and butter.
What is your real name?
Philip Riggs
When did you start cartography?
I started making maps when I was young, maybe 10 or so. I've always liked the maps that give a feel of the place, whether culture, physiography, etc.
What inspired you to become a cartographer?
Love of cultural geography and history. I had several of games that were based on maps, such as Napoleon's wars and World War II. I could spend hours looking at those maps and "imagineering". I was also lucky enough to have parents who took us on long road trip vacations, so I would spend hours making alternative routes all over the U.S. and imagining what they would be like. I remember one time I had us going through Illinois and Chicago to get to Denver, Colorado. Not realistic, but I wanted to see Chicago!
Where did you go to college?
BBA at Northeastern State Oklahoma, MS and PhD at Colorado State University. But the GeoSpatial program is in the process of being killed off.
What degree do you have?
BBA, MS in Forestry (GeoSpatial Science), PhD in Forestry (GeoSpatial Science). But throughout my MS and PhD I worked in Environmental Health.
What was your first map of?
My parents back yard.
What company do you work for?
Colorado State University
How many maps have you made?
Don't know.
Are you working on any maps right now?
Yes, a map of the Oklahoma Indian Territory for my brother, and a cultural geography map of France.
Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
I love the Renaissance mixture of art and science. The art of how a map looks, the science of why things on the map are the way they are.
Philip Riggs
Decorative-Maps.com

#5
Casey Greene

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What is your real name?
Casey Greene

When did you start cartography?

when I was 12 years old

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
It is in my blood

Where did you go to college?

I have been to too many schools, and taken too many seminars/classes...

What degree do you have?

...too not have a degree

What was your first map of?
When I was 12 years old, I created 2 poster size maps of a fantasy world by taking data from numerous published small area maps and incorporation them into larger continent sized maps. The "feat" was accomplished by using colored pencils on 8.5' x 11' graph paper, and then taping all the individual papers together.

What company do you work for?

I am a freelancer/independent contractor who mostly works with Clear Focus Designs, based out of Missoula, Montana (united states).

How many maps have you made?

a lot, but never enough.

Are you working on any maps right now?

I am working on a couple maps right now, but my most interesting is an artistic rendition of bike trails in Missoula.

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?

Figuring out new designs and techniques to use in my maps.

-Casey Greene
cbgreene17[at]yahoo
Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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#6
Charles Syrett

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What is your real name?
Charles Syrett

When did you start cartography?
I started drawing maps at age 6. My first actual commission to create a custom map (unpaid!) was for my uncle, at age 12. (It was a map of a park system showing trails for his running club.) My first actual cartography job was in 1973.

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
It was an incident that occurred when I was five years old. My older sister tried to give me verbal directions to go to a store that was several blocks away. That didn't work, so she took me to an upstairs window ledge and drew me a map while pointing at the features outside, extending the map to what was out of range. This blew my little kid mind! It was all there: not only was I seeing my first map, but I was also observing the process of custom mapping unfolding before my very eyes. I fulfilled the errand using this hand-sketched map, and the rest is history.

Where did you go to college?
Seneca College, Toronto.

What degree do you have?
College diploma.

What was your first map of?
I think it was the "Twelve Tribes of Israel", copied from a map in the back of a Bible, drawn in pencil at age six. Along with my twin brother (who also now runs a mapping company), I drew lots of maps in childhood, and we even formed a "hikers and cartographers club" with some other kids to map the many pathways in Toronto's valleys. We also had our own map collection, mostly consisting of maps we harvested from gas stations (back then gas stations gave them away for free), along with some others from various sources (I recall gloating over a beautifully-crafted map of Amsterdam).

What company do you work for?
I run a company called Map Graphics.

How many maps have you made?
Many, many.

Are you working on any maps right now?
Many, many.

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
Whoa... where to start? First, there's the essential activity of cartography itself: creating a precise and clear representation of reality from a specific point of view and for a specific purpose. Second, the making of maps is often a process of puzzle-solving, which is enjoyable. Third, there's the end product, whether it's mine or someone else's -- I can (and do) spend hours looking at maps!

#7
natcase

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So, if you are a cartographer, could you please answer these questions?
yes
What is your real name?
Nat Case
When did you start cartography?
As a career, in 1991. For money, in 1989. For fun, somewhere in grade school.
What inspired you to become a cartographer?
I've always liked maps, and when the design and writing company I started with a college friend went bellyup, I examined what to do next, and came up with radio journalism or cartography. Given that I had some background in design and print production on one hand, and an occasional stutter on the other hand, it seemed like an easy choice. Reporting from Minneapolis, this is Nat Case for Carto-talk.
Where did you go to college?
Carleton College
What degree do you have?
BA in Studio Art (Fine Art)
What was your first map of?
The first I was paid money for was a campus map for Carleton College. (sensing a theme here?)
What company do you work for?
Hedberg Maps, Inc.
How many maps have you made?
Our company keeps a numbered jobs file, and we're up over 1100. But many of those were by other cartographers at the company , and many are reuses of existing maps. But many of those projects involve multiple maps. Short answer: hundreds, not including sketches on the back of napkins.
Are you working on any maps right now?
About 10 different projects are in process now, one way or another, and there are two of us making maps here, plus a few freelancers. Any given day I'm working on 2-5 projects.
Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
1. All the little lines :)
2. The variety of kinds of work that go into a map; it keeps me on my toes.
3. It is a good conversation-starter at parties. My wife writes about finance and she can see people's eyes glaze over when she says what she does for work
4. The stuff I learn while making the maps. I can now tell you more about handmade tiles in Minneapolis or about Biotech in New England than I would really ever want to...
5. As a corollary to (4): Getting to know places. I don't do as much fieldwork personally as I used to, but it remains one of the favorite parts of my job.

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com



#8
One

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Wow. Thanks guys. I decided to take two. Charles and FLumphboy's interviews are the ones I am going to use.

#9
Clark Geomatics

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Excellent post One - I hope the good folks on this forum come out of hiding and post something.

What is your real name?
Jeff Clark

When did you start cartography?
I'm not a full-blown cartographer, however, I've dabbled in it since the mid-1980s and have become more serious about it of late.

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
Mostly from working in the very visual field of earth sciences.

Where did you go to college?
I've spent time in a couple of places - McGill University and later on at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

What degree do you have?
It's a wacky combo - a B.Sc. in Solid Earth Geophysics and an Advanced Technical Diploma in GIS.

What was your first map of?
I think it was in my first year at university (late bloomer compared to many others) - I took a geography course and ended up hand-drawing an oblique 3D view as part of a project - I had a great time in that class.

What company do you work for?
I'm a partner in a GIS consulting firm called Spatial Vision Group and I've got my own company called Clark Geomatics (where I work on things cartographic).

How many maps have you made?
I'm guessing I've created several hundred maps in the course of working as a GIS consultant. I've self-published one map so far (quite the learning curve).

Are you working on any maps right now?
Yes - a few projects - a couple topographic / recreational maps and a thematic map.

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
That's tough - I think, to distill my thoughts, it's the combination of analysis, abstraction and detail that keeps me interesting in maps.
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#10
Matthew Hampton

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So, if you are a cartographer, could you please answer these questions?
Yes

What is your real name?
Matthew Hampton

When did you start cartography?
12 years ago

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
Looking at the superb local cartographic talent (Bill Loy, Stuart Allen, Dave Imus, Al Cardwell, etc.)

Where did you go to college?
Lewis & Clark College, PSU

What degree do you have?
BS - Anthropology, MS - Geography

What was your first map of?
A Wildlife refuge

What company do you work for?
Oregon Metro Regional Government

How many maps have you made?
Lots and lots

Are you working on any maps right now?
Lots and lots

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
I like the pretty colors, and the cognitive interplay between science and art :D

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#11
mlbostwick

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What is your real name?
Martha Bostwick

When did you start cartography?
School, 1998. As a career, 2000.

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
I have always loved maps. When I was small, my grandfather used to get out maps and have me figure out the routes I would take to get to different places.

Where did you go to college?
-Saint Mary's University (Halifax, NS)
-Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) (Lawrencetown, NS)

What degree do you have?
-BA in Geography
-Diploma in Digital Cartography

What was your first map of?
I can't remember, I remember using crayons to draw maps when little.

What company do you work for?
Maps.com

How many maps have you made?
Not sure, somewhere from hundreds to thousands.

Are you working on any maps right now?
Yes, mainly a series of about 50 for a travel guide, plus a half-dozen or so for other clients.

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
I love how much I learn about the world, the odd quirky details that I would otherwise never find out about. I also like the challenge of interpreting someone else's ideas, and coming up with an interesting, engaging product.

#12
J Shively

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What is your real name?
J. Shively

When did you start cartography?
Education: 1994
Career: 1999

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
As far back as I can remember, I've always enjoyed reading maps. On family vacations, which were always by car, I volunteered to be the navigator. This had two benefits: 1) I always knew when the next rest stop was going to be and; 2) I got to sit up front and had a better view of the scenery we drove past.

Where did you go to college?
University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
Weber State University (Ogden, UT) Assoc. of Science
Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI) Bachelor of Science

What degree do you have?
Bachelor of Science - Major: Geography, Minor: Earth Science

What was your first map of?
First map in college would have been a map of Central America as part of a class project. When I first started on my career path in college, we were taught how to create maps by hand, scribing roads, rivers, etc. on mylar film (with some orange coating.) Computer cartography was not part of the curriculum at Weber State back then.

What company do you work for?
State of Michigan.

How many maps have you made?
Thousands, many as part of map series.

Are you working on any maps right now?
No, but always ready and willing.

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
Seeing the finished product after many hours of work.

#13
Brian Moran

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What is your real name?
Brian Moran

When did you start cartography?
In school, 1996. As a job, 1998.

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
Always loved maps. I was fascinated by weather as a kid, but in college realized it was the spatial aspect of weather I loved, not the atmospheric physics part. I was also inspired by my cartography professor in college.

Where did you go to college?
Penn State, BS in geography
Oregon State, GIS Cert.

What degree do you have?
See above

What was your first map of?
When I was 8 or so I used to draw maps of the paths thunderstorms would follow past my house in the summer, according to the warnings on the radio and the direction from which the thunder would come/go.

What company do you work for?
Sanborn Map Co.-- on-site contractor to the Forest Service

How many maps have you made?
Don't really know. Lately I've been making fewer, but bigger, maps.

Are you working on any maps right now?
I've been working on the same map for the last 6 months-- the Inyo Nat'l Forest. Also working on some topo atlases.

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
Making maps is the next-best thing to actually being out there exploring the world, and sometimes its just as good-- seeing the variables of the earth's surface represented on a map and then comparing them to the real thing never gets old for me.

#14
Kalai Selvan

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What is your real name?
Kannan Krish

When did you start cartography?
12years ago

What inspired you to become a cartographer?
Wanted to make maps of my own which in deed will be used by many.

Where did you go to college?
St.Jospephs College

What degree do you have?
Bachelor of Science - IT

What was your first map of?
A local area layout

What company do you work for?
A Mapping company (Name ?)

How many maps have you made?
Many,Many and more

Are you working on any maps right now?
Yep

Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
That crazy colors that fill in the polygon makes anyone to look at them, so i am

Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#15
François Goulet

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Last question, what is your favorite thing about cartography?
Mixing art and science, virtually visiting the world. It's also great at parties, trying to explain what I do :)

Usually it goes like that for me at parties:

- What do you do?
- I'm a cartographer

- Euh, ok, and what do you do?
- I make maps!

- Maps!? Euh, ok, like road maps?
- :angry: ...

;)




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