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finally got round to introducing myself


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#1
Polaris

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Hello Everyone!

I've been lurking around cartotalk for several weeks now. What a wonderful community of folks with similar experience, concerns and outlook! What a great spirit of helpful collaboration! This is one of the things I love about being a cartographer - the openness and good will of the cartographic community.

It is way past time to introduce myself.

I run a one-man map shop from one of the 'thickest' parts of the Southern Appalachian mountains (Burnsville, NC - at the northern end of the Black Mountains). I started Polaris Cartography in August 1996 following a 10 year career in air quality research/consulting (mostly measurement/monitoring related). The usual story - I wanted independence, to do something I love for a living, and to live and raise my kids in a beautiful place. I continued part time with the air quality work until April 2000 - since then it has been all maps!

I am deeply fascinated with landscape/geography/geomorphology - whatever you call the myriad forms and relationships displayed by the earth. Making maps suits my long standing interest/aptitude for distilling and conveying information - another Tufte devotee. I'm an artsy geek, but seem to be becoming more of a geeky artist.

I'm self-taught in cartography, GIS, desktop publishing and all the stuff that goes into making maps these days (with a great deal of much appreciated help from y'all out there). This has involved some trials, but I don't think I would have done it any other way. I've done a goodly share of formal schooling, but I've always learned best by just taking on a project and figuring out how to make it work. The biggest personal challenge in running a map shop has been promoting myself and managing clients. I feel I'm doing much better at this now; but I've spent a lot of time pounding my head against walls.

Apart from maps, I devote most of my attention to my three swell kiddos, my sweetie, and gardening/landscaping on two sunny acres that are 'steep as a horse's face' and thickly overgrown in early succession multflora rose, sumac, honeysuckle, poison ivy, etc. I love to paddle rivers and the sea, hike, study, and gaze and wonder at the world. I have dreams of ocean sailing (once the kids are older and I figure out how to run a map biz from a sailboat).

I've started compiling a list of topics I'd like to introduce on Cartotalk. Most of them have to do with practical cartography and running a map shop. I promise I will (eventually) post some of these and start to weigh in once in awhile on topics introduced by others. Over time, I hope to be able to make a contribution to this great forum!

Eric Ringler
Polaris Cartography

#2
Nick Springer

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Welcome Eric. Glad to have you, and hope to hear more from you in the future.

Nick Springer

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


#3
Martin Gamache

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Eric,

Nice to see you finally introducing yourself to everyone here...Point these folks to the excellent work shown on your website otherwise I will ;) ...



maybe you'll make it to Madison next year?

#4
Rob

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Eric,

I first saw your work in the 3D world gallery a few years back. Very nice. Another WCS/VNS user I'm guessin? So far Hans and myself are the only others on this board that I know of to use those tools. At some point it be good to hear to what extent you use VNS in your production.

Welcome,

Rob

#5
Polaris

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Thanks to Nick, Martin and Rob for the welcoming words.

My map portfolio is at polarismaps.com

Rob, I am indeed a WCS user (since 1998). I love the 3D work, but don't get to do as much of it as I would like. There are some more recent examples in my portfolio. The Haywood county (waynesville, lake junaluska) panorama is yet to be printed, but it is my best work to date. A lot of interesting terrain manipulation went into the Puget sound panorama.

e

#6
Rick Dey

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Eric,

Welcome and thanks for sharing those beautiful maps on your site with us (thanks Martin for prodding him). It's obvious your talent will be a great addition to the group.
Rick Dey

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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Eric,

Beautiful maps indeed, why don't you go ahead and post a few in the Map Gallery here?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#8
EcoGraphic

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I visited your website a while ago, and echo the sentiments of the other CartoTalk members. Really nice work. Nice to hear you talk about being self-taught as well. I am definately with you on that one!

Cheers,

Gillian
Gillian Auld
EcoGraphic Design
www.EcoGraphic.ca

Design is the intermediary between information and understanding
Richard Grefe




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