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Is Cartography Dead?

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#1
gregsd

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Interesting article in the current (Sept 2005) issue of GEOconnexion International Magazine :

IS CARTOGRAPHY DEAD OR HAS CARTOGRAPHY STILL A ROLE TO PLAY IN A MODERN, WEB-BASED GI-ENVIRONMENT?


Greg Driver

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#2
melon_mapper

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It is a good article and I agree with the author. While the tradional aspects of the creating a map have changed dramatically, the general cartographic principles still apply. Good data, good design and good communication are still critical. I remember one of my cartography professors state that before starting a project that you have to become in instant expert in that subject matter and be able to communicate so everyone can understand.

In having worked with scientist and engineers and been through the transition form manual cartography to computer cartography- the philoshy hasn't changed. Also knowing how to create maps manually (negatives, stick up type, peel coats, scribing, pen and ink) helped me easliy understand the layering of data in a GIS environment.

#3
burwelbo

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I would think that the field of Cartography should be just hitting its stride. The availability of free online data has basically made map making affordable and accessable to even the most cost conscious cartographer. Also, map making software from graphic design programs to GIS and Image Processing software has dropped dramatically in price. Even ArcGIS has become affordable to small businesses. Hardware and the net have also revolutionized the way we do work. Yes, lots of mapping will be in the Web environment but that should lead to lots of opportunities for skilled cartographer, not diminish them. Also, no matter what, people still want good graphic output for certain things. GIS and Image Processing provide us with the tools to analyze, organize and explore our data but good cartography presents the data in a meaningful way. The only fear I see is that we, as cartographers, GIS and Image Processers, rely too heavily on the validity of data we acquire from the web and use in our projects.

Just my thoughts

Bruce Burwell
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Saudi Aramco
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

#4
Mike H

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After last weeks NACIS meeting I must say cartography is definately not dead. It has never been more prolific in the history of mankind, and perhaps the oversaturation of maps as media would have some assuming the craft has become overly automated, but ultimately computers don't make maps - people do.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


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