Jump to content

 
Photo

New Classroom-based Cartography Course

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1
cloveman

cloveman

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redlands, CA
  • United States

Hi fellow cartographers,

My first posting here, I’m part of a team seeking input for a new classroom-based cartography course. This course will be taught with ArcGIS as the primary map production software. With this in mind, I’d like your input on the following course content.

-Cartographic topics/tools that should be included in the new course
-Student experience (one project developed throughout the class vs stand-alone topics covered in each chapter, etc.)
-Cartographic theory balanced with practical application within ArcGIS. Should these be integrated together in each chapter or taught separately?
-Software to be discussed/included in exercises (ArcMap, ArcGIS Server, new PDF capabilities, etc.)
-How much emphasis should be placed on designing maps for on-line use
-What topics should be discussed when teaching differences in map design for paper vs screen (Internet)
-Any additional comments from your own cartography class experiences which would be useful in planning a course


I look forward to hearing from you.

Your ideas are greatly appreciated.
Clint Loveman
Esri - Professional Services

#2
frax

frax

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,301 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm, Sweden
  • Interests:music, hiking, friends, nature, photography, traveling. and maps!
  • Sweden

Maybe you could specify more what the goals and target group are for the course? I am big opponent of teaching methods/concepts too tightly to software, unless it is some software specific training.

I would use a lot of paper in such a class - drawing with crayons, looking at map examples.

One thing I would try to integrate for sure would be major show and tell parts - homework could be to bring good/not-so-good examples to the class and look at these from a critical view and try to pinpoint whom they are adressing, what they are (trying to) communicate and how.
Hugo Ahlenius
Nordpil - custom maps and GIS
http://nordpil.com/
Twitter

#3
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,859 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

I agree with Hugo, I certainly would recommend spending some portion of the class time discussing non-Arc methods of making maps. Of course the principles of cartography and design are fully independent of the software used.

One thing that I though was quite good from my own education was the classes covering printing techniques. These were supplied by a teacher from the neighbouring graphics design and printing school.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#4
designmaps

designmaps

    Newbie

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cary, North Carolina, USA
  • United States

Hello,

I just took a beginning ArcView course through North Carolina State University. I thought it was really informative.
Here's the link. You can contact Greg, (instructor).

http://www.itre.ncsu...g_list.html#GIS

Best,
Scott Lockheed
Designmaps.com

#5
James Hines

James Hines

    James Anthony Hines

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Centreville, Nova Scotia
  • Interests:Cartography, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Economics, Occultism, Spiritualism
  • Canada

{Cartographic topics/tools that should be included in the new course}

It's obvious that there are many different disciplines to our field, from spatial Business Intelligence, Custom Relationship Management services, to WebGIS. So cartography needs to become a full four year degree & not a component of other courses.

{Student experience (one project developed throughout the class vs stand-alone topics covered in each chapter, etc.}

Have you heard of the Centre of Geographic Sciences? That school is intensive it would provide a very good example.

{Cartographic theory balanced with practical application within ArcGIS. Should these be integrated together in each chapter or taught separately?}

If you teach only ArcGIS you are limiting the students ability to explore other options. Why not MapInfo? Manifold? MaPublisher in Illustrator? GIS is changing, & other distributors are catching up quickly. I would also highly recommend non GIS related courses that focus on web developing within a mapping environment, more direct focus on Spatial Decision Support Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning, etc.

{Software to be discussed/included in exercises (ArcMap, ArcGIS Server, new PDF capabilities, etc.)}

See previous comment

{What topics should be discussed when teaching differences in map design for paper vs screen (Internet)}

Cartographic Design, Map Production, Project Management, etc.

{How much emphasis should be placed on designing maps for on-line use}

A full two years should be focused on ArcIMS, Google Maps, C++, MySQL, Apache, Visual Basic, Dreamweaver, Manifold IMS, ASP.NET, SQL, PostSQL, JAVA, C#, MapServer, & Flash.

"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."


#6
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

You didn't mention the age group for which this is being developed. Grade school? High school? College? Hugo mentioned crayons and Hasdrubal gave a good outline for a 4-year college program.

Since your location is Redlands, CA I understand your bias towards ESRI products, but I agree with other posters that a classroom course on "Cartography" should not be focused on on any specific software application, or GIS alone for that matter. If this is the direction you feel you must pursue then you should be clear that the class is "How to make maps with ArcGIS" and not a general "Cartography" class. IMHO you are doing a disservice by teaching Cartography primarily through the lens of ArcGIS.

The emphasis should be on data selection and simplification (with your brain, not software), geographic knowledge, effective communication of a message, clear and appealing visual design, and the differences between paper and screen display. From there you can move on to the software tools of the trade including GIS (not any specific package), vector illustration software, and raster image software.

*Steps down off of soap box*

Nick Springer

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


#7
David T

David T

    GIS Manager, USMC, MCIWEST-MCB Camp Pendleton

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, California
  • United States

Since your location is Redlands, CA I understand your bias towards ESRI products, but I agree with other posters that a classroom course on "Cartography" should not be focused on on any specific software application, or GIS alone for that matter. If this is the direction you feel you must pursue then you should be clear that the class is "How to make maps with ArcGIS" and not a general "Cartography" class. IMHO you are doing a disservice by teaching Cartography primarily through the lens of ArcGIS.


I actually think a balanced teaching method, using a specific software program, isn't a bad way to teach cartography.

At San Diego State, in the late 90s (when I went through their program), we were taught concepts in our lecture course, and then applied those concept in a lab environment, with Freehand as the software of choice. It was pretty nice to learn specifically how to utilize a software package to create maps.

It truly depends upon the age group and the audience. If the intention of the class is to teach cartography within the ArcGIS platform - well, that's completely different than trying to teach general cartographic skills.

If the class is a general cartography course, though - I think teaching the cartographic concepts - independent of any software - should be the focus of the lecture course. When you get into the lab, the discussion can turn to 'this is how you do it within ArcGIS'.
David Toney, GISP
GIS Manager
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations

#8
cloveman

cloveman

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redlands, CA
  • United States

Thanks for your input. Sorry, I should have been more specific. I work for ESRI, so the intent of the class is to help GIS professionals and part-time GIS users understand the basics of good map design using sound cartographic principles and ArcGIS.

The students we expect are:
  • Experienced ArcGIS users with little or no cartographic experience.
  • Experienced cartographers with little or no ArcGIS experience.
If you have suggestions on high-level or specific learning objective/topics/tools or workflows to cover in a 3 day(?) class please let me know.

Thanks again.
Clint Loveman
Esri - Professional Services

#9
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,859 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Based upon my experiences (teaching MAPublisher courses) I would recommend coming up with 2 unique approaches for these 2 groups. New MAPublisher users tend to fall in 2 similar categories: experienced GIS/CAD users and experienced Illustrator users.

For the experienced ArcGIS users, cover the principles of cartography (color use, symbology, scale, layout, text placement, font selection) and explain where the relevant tools in ArcGIS are. Take a few examples from the ESRI Map Book and explain how certain elements of those maps were produced.

The experienced cartographers should, ideally, first be brought up to speed with ArcGIS. This will take time and to be honest, I don't think 3 days would be enough to do that and cover advanced cartography. Anyway, once they reach that point they can follow the same track as the other group, but with more focus on how to do something rather than why.

In both cases, I would stress the fact that 3 days is not a whole lot and to succesfully produce high-end maps in any application it'll take a lot of experience too.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#10
cartobendigo

cartobendigo

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Australia

Hi All,

Please concentrate a considerable amount of your course on cartographic presentation, in particular text placement. Typically text placement directly output from a GIS can be less than desirable (in most cases). Text placement in relation to a symbol or physical feature is one of the most important aspects of cartography. From my experience physical text placement and large political text placement (i.e country names or province names) has been very poorly executed by many cartographers.

Adjusting the point size and tracking of text to suit a physical or large political feature or placing point feature text in relation to a point is an art and really should be emphasized in any cartographic course.

Regards,
Damien Demaj
DEMAP
www.demap.com.au
Damien Demaj
www.demap.com.au




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->