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Cartography - an introduction

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In 2006 The British Cartographic Society (BCS) launched its Better Mapping Campaign providing a series of seminars on how to produce better maps. The series was repeated in 2008 in conjunction with The Association for Geographic Information and more are planned for 2009.

All but a few courses in Cartography have vanished in UK with the remainder being taught as a module within GIS courses. As mapping becomes a more valuable component in the assimilation and understanding of geographic data, it is even more relevant that those data are presented in clear and legible form. Cartography is all about communication and the effectiveness of that communication is determined by the quality of the map.

There are good maps and bad maps. Good data and bad data. Bad data can be camouflaged by good design but, more worryingly, good data can be lost in bad design. This can lead to misinterpretation and wrong decisions being made as a consequence. So, what is it that makes the difference between a good and a bad map? Principally it is the presentation of that data – the map design. Map design falls into a few basic principles which can transform a bundle of meaningless data into a clear, easy-to-read map.

In support of its Better Mapping initiative, The BCS recognized the need for some ready reference to help the many mapmakers who have no formal training in their task. Thus was born Cartography an introduction. Prepared on behalf of The BCS by Giles Darkes, Cartographic Consultant, and Mary Spence MBE, one of the UK’s leading cartographic practitioners, the 64 pages of this little A6 booklet are crammed full of useful information to assist the mapmaking community in understanding the principles behind the creation of a good map. Its aim is to provide basic information on what works well in a map and to get the world thinking about maps and their messages.

Cartography an introduction
ISBN 978-0-904482-23-2
Overseas price £6.49 incl p&p
Available online at http://www.cartograp...p?contentID=753

Mary Spence MBE
Immediate Past President
British Cartographic Society

Clive Cartwright

Clive Cartwright


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Well done! I've just placed an order for this, so will look forward to reading it as soon as it arrives...
Clive E. Cartwright
Mapping & Charting Officer
British Geological Survey

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