I am especially interested in print and electronic map work, and this is very much the type of work where I believe I can make a real contribution to an organization’s efforts. A good map is defined by the criteria brought to it by the user: does s/he need this map? can s/he use this map? can s/he believe what the map says? These criteria have been the underpinning of my cartographic practice, and I have consistently demonstrated the ability to deliver appropriate and usable maps on time.
I have been working in mapping and GIS for over a dozen years. Most recently, I was employed for eight years as Chief Cartographer and GIS lead in a large, world wide conservation organization. My duties included professional map production of a large range map products for a broad and varied clientèle, as well as oversight, guidance, and capacity building amongst GIS and map making staff. These staff persons ranged in experience from beginner through advanced, and were located in offices around the world: some were attached to my own team, while others worked for different teams in our headquarters office in Washington, DC (and later Arlington, Virginia), and many others operated out of offices in South America, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
As a part of capacity building, my role included both direct mentoring and generation of resource products. For instance, I would provide short booklets or instructions guiding map makers through complex operations (such as a guide through the myriad of options available in the ArcMap scale bar wizard), or explaining confusing conceptual constructs (such as the nature of, and relationship between, spheroids, datums, and projections), or offering useful and usable organizational conventions such as mapping parameters for specific areas of organizational interest around the world (Biodiversity Hotspots).
In addition to working with map makers inside the organization, I also worked closely with outside groups partnered with us. Most often, this involved providing map products or cartographic advise, but there were also larger projects. For instance, in the past year I provided the IUCN Red List web site with a complete new web and print based map standard. This included standards for symbolization (including color ramps), layouts for web and publication use (including alternate page layouts to deal with anomalously shaped regions), standard regional projection parameters, and parameters for setting custom projections.
My own cartographic output has maintained a consistently high quality for many years, with an overall output sometimes numbering in hundreds of maps each year. Many of these maps were destined for publication, either as stand alone products or for inclusion in other publications, while others were small edition plotter printed maps. One indication of the quality of my work is, among other accolades, the reception of several awards for map excellence. Since 2001, for instance, I have received the ESRI User Conference Map Gallery First Place award for Best Cartographic Product - Small Map six times.
My education is broad and varied (as is my general work experience), but well focused on cartographic and GIS concerns. I would draw immediate attention to both my Masters studies in cartographic design, and to my cartographic studies at the College of Geographic Sciences. My Masters thesis, “Cartographic Design, Rhetoric and Persuasion”, was published as a monograph in the Spring 2003  issue of the journal Cartographic Perspectives, and I also publish other articles in that journal from time to time, most recently in the latest issue . I am also a regular speaker on cartographic topics at conferences sponsored by organizations such as NACIS, ICA, and SCGIS. In addition to these activities, I am Reviews Editor for Cartographic Perspectives and international user lead for the ESRI Cartography Special Interest Group.
I have been working over the years with the very latest versions of ArcGIS, and with numerous extensions; including Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, and others. I have also made use of the Maplex extension and have begun to explore the exciting possibilities resident in the new cartographic representations functions of the geodatabase.
I am very familiar with vector and raster graphics software, photo programs, and with page layout software as well. Much of my experience has involved managing the work flow across and between GIS and graphics packages.
Of course, not every map requires the fine polish of graphics finishing. I have also designed and produced many maps and map series with frequent update cycles: high quality maps produced directly out of the GIS software on printers or plotters. Because these maps remain close to their electronic source, they can be quickly and easily reissued, yet give away nothing of usefulness, usability, or persuasiveness to their offset press produced cousins.
References and samples of my work are available on request.
300 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
Mark Denil has well over a decade of experience in map making and GIS, and has written and spoken extensively on cartographic design. His map products have been recognized for exceptional usefulness, usability, and persuasiveness. As Chief Cartographer at Conservation International, he built the Mapping Program into the strongest cartographic resource in conservation world, and one of the best respected in the world. Not only overseeing production of critically important and award winning maps from his own team, he assisted in capacity building and cartographic support to the numerous field office based mapping operation of CI, located around the world.
In addition to these activities, Mr. Denil has many years experience as an artist (sculpture, painting, photography, and graphics), and as a wooden shipwright. He holds a Ship’s Masters certificate from the Canadian Coast Guard.
Conservation International 2000 - 2008
Washington, DC USA.
Chief Cartographer / Director of Conservation Mapping 2001 - 2008
Chief Cartographer and GIS lab manager in the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International. Produced high quality professional cartographic products for publication and other uses, oversaw map production operations, supported mapping activities in overseas mapping offices, managed GIS lab staff and facilities, administered software grant process for worldwide office network, represented the organization at mapping and GIS related meetings and events. From 2005, also served as GIS Lead.
GIS Cartographer 2000 - 2001
Produced high quality professional cartographic products for publication and other uses.
Halifax Regional Development Agency 2000
Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia Canada.
MapInfo applications development and support for a regional business development agency. HRDA was created through cooperation of the municipal, provincial, and federal governments to promote development in the suburban and rural portions of the municipality. Duties include development of GIS and mapping capabilities to meet business development, environmental and agency internal needs.
Halifax Regional Municipality, 1996 - 1999
Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.
GIS Systems Analyst.
Arc/Info and ArcView applications development and support for the new amalgamated municipal government, one of the largest municipalities in Canada. Duties include development of new cartographic products and software evaluation as well as AML and Avenue programming. Projects included automation of the layout and printing of maps for the Emergency Measures Organization office, and technical oversight (development and support of software tools and methodologies, and training of operators) for the creation of a street network file for the entire 5000 square kilometre municipality. This file was the basis for the 911 and fire dispatch systems. Another project was the design and implementation of semi-automated systems to produce community level street maps and route maps for municipal snow plow operators.
City of Halifax, 1995 - 1996
Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.
GIS Programmer/Analyst. GIS Unit Arc/Info and ArcView applications development and support for the various municipal departments utilizing geographic information.
Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1995
Regina, Saskatchewan Canada.
Worked on creation of a new digital survey fabric base map of the Canadian Prairies. Developed AML routines to automate the importation, re-projection, separation, classification, and storage of geographic data obtained from provincial government sources. Error checking, flagging and logging subroutines were incorporated in the processing to facilitate problem solving in this very large data manipulation operation. My responsibility was for the Province of Alberta.
Stage Hand Puppets 1994
La Have, Nova Scotia Canada.
Graphic design and layout, desktop publication of a mail-order catalogue, display design and construction. I played a part in all aspects of company image creation for a start up firm, now one of the largest puppet manufacturers and distributors in eastern Canada
La Have Outfitters 1993
La Have, Nova Scotia Canada.
Master of the "MV Seal" (a 30 foot motor-sailor engaged in chartering), marina supervision, and boat building Responsibility for marina rental, berthing, and upkeep, along with charter boat operation and upkeep, was supplemented by a summer long public boat building demonstration at a busy tourist site.
Snyder's Shipyard 1989 - 1992
Dayspring, Nova Scotia Canada
Shipwright with a long established builder of wooden ships. One of the last of the old wooden shipyards, vessels of up to 80' in length were constructed in a traditional manner.
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival 1988
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Canada.
Promotions Organizer & graphic designer for a summer music festival
Covey Island Boatworks 1985 - 1987
Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia Canada
Shipwright building fine yachts and working craft in wood/epoxy. Covey Island is the most experienced builder of this type of modern composite craft in Canada
Studio 1983 - 1984
Production of sculpture and graphics in my own studio
Pie Sijn Foundry 1980 - 1983
Gevrik, The Netherlands.
Worked in all aspects of casting bronze statuary; cire-perdue method, with the most important art foundry in the Netherlands
Martilino Studio of Art 1975 - 1980
Bethlehem, New Hampshire & Smyrna, Georgia, USA.
Assistant to a sculptor producing large outdoor works; both stationary and mobile, earthbound and lighter than air.
Master of Fine Art - Design and Visual Communication Degree - 1999
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
thesis: Cartographic Design: Rhetoric and Persuasion. This thesis was published as a monograph in the journal Cartographic Perspectives, issue 45, Spring 2003
Cartographic Technologist Diploma - 1995
College of Geographic Sciences, Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia Canada
Graduate Fine Art Studies - 1983
Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Bachelor of Fine Art Degree - 1979
Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
Associate Arts Degree - 1976
Franconia College, Franconia, New Hampshire USA
Languages spoken / written
Cartographic Design: Rhetoric and Persuasion, Cartographic Perspectives , Spring 2003
Tropical Andes: Forest Cover and Change 1990 - 2000 / Cobertura y Cambio de Bosque 1990 - 2000, single side wall map, colour, English and Spanish, 32 x 50 inches (2008 Conservation International: Arlington, VA)
Madagascar: Change in Natural Forest Cover 1990 - 2000 - 2005 / Changement de la couverture des forêts naturelles 1990 - 2000 - 2005, single side wall map, colour, English and French, 32 x 50 inches (2007 Conservation International: Arlington, VA)
Guayana Shield Conservation Priorities, two sided wall map, colour, three versions: English/Dutch, English/French, Spanish/Portuguese. (2003 Conservation International: Washington, DC)
Chimpanzee Priority Areas; Physical & Political Geography, Human Population, Remaining West African Forest, Chimpanzee Ranges and Conservation Protected Areas, Biodiversity Conservation Priorities: Upper Guinea Forest, in Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Chimpanzees in West Africa (2003 Conservation International: Washington, DC) pp 8-9
Aqua RAP, Okavango Delta, Botswana, 5-22 June 2000, in A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Aquatic Ecosystems of the Okavango Delta, Botswana: High Water Survey. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 27 (2003 CABS / Conservation International: Washington, DC) p 17
West Africa and the Congo Basin, in Consuming Nature: A Photo Essay on African Rain Forest Exploration (2003 Altisima Press: Palos Verdes) p 199
ESRI User Conference Map Gallery: Best Cartographic Design: Single Map Product - Small Format: 6 first place, 1 second place, and 1 honorable mention awards since 2001
2008: The Island of New Guinea
ESRI Cartographic User Special Interest Group Map Award (not an ESRI award): 2008
Madagascar: Change in Natural Forest Cover 1990 - 2000 - 2005 / Changement de la couverture des forêts naturelles 1990 - 2000 - 2005