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scope to cartography

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actually i am finding this cartography field interesting but i have some queries. i.e can some body tell me the scope of a cartographer? from the step one to the last one. i know i have to start off with digitizing but then what????



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That is a pretty open question. I would say that the first thing you need to do is decide why you want to make a map. From there you can decide what data you need to collect to make that map, which may indeed involve digitizing from a paper source. It may also involve going out in the field to collect the data yourself (doing survey work), or getting (for a fee or free from a public source) pre-existing data. Then you need to put it all together, either on a hard media (paper, film, etc.) or as digital files on your computer. Then there are considerations such as projection, symbolization, final presentation format and so on. It can be quite involved.

On the other hand, as I tell the students in schools when I go for Career Day there, you can also make a map in the dirt with your finger. If that meets the need ;)
Andy McIntire
US Census Bureau

Hans van der Maarel

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I would argue it from the other way:
Take the end result, a visual representation from something that has a spatial component or relation. It may be a purely topographic map or it may be a thematic representation of something like the average income per county mapped against the average age. Cartography is the process of creating that end result and it may or may not include the following actions:
  • Selection of source data or producing it (depending on availability). Sometimes it's digitizing, sometimes it isn't. Depends on the project.
  • Manipulation of source data to make it suit our needs. This has a lot of overlap with GIS work.
  • Determining area of interest (if the client hasn't done so already)
  • Determining scale, projection and layout based upon the output specifications.
  • Determining graphic style, also based on the output specs. This involves selecting colors, fonts and symbology and has a lot in common with graphic design and typography.
  • The actual production phase, usually with one or two revisions.
These aren't always clearly recognizable actions, there may be a lot of overlap and the order isn't necessarily set in stone either. A cartographer may not always have to do all of this by him/herself either.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

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