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#31
Dennis McClendon

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Ottawa was a joint CCA/NACIS conference, focused on cartographic design. Back then there was no Web, but word was sent out the same way as the year before in Silver Spring, which drew about 120, and the following year in Wilmington, which drew about 100. So it was hard to avoid the conclusion that either the time of year (early August) or the location was the problem.

These days, NACIS draws about 120-150 attendees. I think it's gone as high as 170 in Madison.
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#32
rudy

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Ottawa was a joint CCA/NACIS conference, focused on cartographic design. Back then there was no Web, but word was sent out the same way as the year before in Silver Spring, which drew about 120, and the following year in Wilmington, which drew about 100. So it was hard to avoid the conclusion that either the time of year (early August) or the location was the problem.

These days, NACIS draws about 120-150 attendees. I think it's gone as high as 170 in Madison.

If that's the case I can see why NACIS wouldn't necessarily want much to do with the CCA. Thirty is even low for CCA standards - particularly for Ottawa. I suspect that the organizing committee dropped the ball on that one (but I'm just guessing).

#33
Charles Syrett

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Ottawa was a joint CCA/NACIS conference, focused on cartographic design.


Oh, that conference in Ottawa. I was there after all -- as a CCA member. Somehow I missed that it was also NACIS. Maybe because only 30 NACIS people made it! It was, of course, robustly attended by the CCA folks....

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#34
rudy

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Ottawa was a joint CCA/NACIS conference, focused on cartographic design.


Oh, that conference in Ottawa. I was there after all -- as a CCA member. Somehow I missed that it was also NACIS. Maybe because only 30 NACIS people made it! It was, of course, robustly attended by the CCA folks....

Charles Syrett
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So do your attendance figures only include NACIS members then? Maybe it wasn't an organizational issue after all, just a location (outside of the US) issue.

#35
Charles Syrett

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So do your attendance figures only include NACIS members then? Maybe it wasn't an organizational issue after all, just a location (outside of the US) issue.


All I remember is that, in terms of numbers, this conference didn't seem any different from other CCA conferences I had attended. There were lots of attendees, presentations, etc. And I literally have no memory of NACIS also being there. So, yes -- as a conference it was good, but it obviously wasn't a good location for NACIS.

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#36
SouthernCross

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It's nice to see this topic garnering dicussion. While personally, I feel an organization that represents North America has a responsibilty to do its best to make these as accessible as possible to all North Americans, I can also appreciate the fact that logistically it may be impossible to do so.

I certainly do have a difficult time in believing that a internationally-renowned city like Toronto, wouldn't attract people to a NACIS conference. Especially with the very high turn-out for the regional ESRI conferences held in Toronto every year.
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#37
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It's nice to see this topic garnering dicussion. While personally, I feel an organization that represents North America has a responsibilty to do its best to make these as accessible as possible to all North Americans, I can also appreciate the fact that logistically it may be impossible to do so.

I certainly do have a difficult time in believing that a internationally-renowned city like Toronto, wouldn't attract people to a NACIS conference. Especially with the very high turn-out for the regional ESRI conferences held in Toronto every year.

One of the challenges is that NACIS has made an effort to be a low-cost conference... good luck on that in Toronto, or New York, or DC, or San Francisco. This, rather than some quirky sense of geographic interest, keeps us pretty much out of "world-renowned" international hubs.

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#38
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Given that 1.the cost of flights to Canada from the US is very high, 2. that most of the membership is based in the US, most importantly the all volunteer board and until very recently volunteer executive staff that do all the planning and organizing work, and that 3. US Federal employees cannot get funding for international conferences. It is very unlikely that Canadian locations will be chosen over American ones regardelss how great Canadian cities are to visit.

NACIS is highly reliant on income generated from our annual meetings and the model we have now has been moderately successful. Until someone can propose and show that a different one will be equally successful I doubt there will be great interest in deviating too much from our current practice.

On the other hand I can imagine that if there comes a time when Canadian members are a majority and/or, fill enough seats on the board, are active organizers of conference events, and have a trusted local organizer they may opt to schedule and plan for a Canadian conference with or without collaboration of the CCA. Being able to guarantee a minimal attendance to generate income for the society would also help.

Until then I would wager that we will meet stateside in mid-October for the conceivable future.



Martin

#39
Derek Tonn

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I'd love to go to a city like Montreal, Saskatoon, Winnipeg or Calgary one of these years. Or a place in the Northeast US like Providence, Portland (ME), Hartford, Concord, etc.

Just don't make me pay $179/night to stay in some hotel property in one of the major markets, please. I'd meet in an American Legion or community center and just sit around shooting the bull and chewing the fat about mapping if would allow more people to afford to come. And all I need in a hotel is a clean room with a pillow, wifi and 50-60 cable channels while I drift off to sleep.
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#40
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And all I need in a hotel is a clean room with a pillow, wifi and 50-60 cable channels while I drift off to sleep.


Quite surprisingly the St Petersburg Hilton only scored 2 out of 4...
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#41
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Hans - I hoped they provided a pillow!
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#42
Lori Martin

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It might have something to do with the CCA (Canadian Cartographic Association). But I agree with the sentiment that if the NACIS is going to use North American then sites that are not located in the United States should also be considered especially where a passport is required.


Well, I perhaps know a bit more than I was letting on. Years back there was some discussion between the CCA and NACIS about coordinating annual conferences. I don't know the details on that but I do know that CCA recently tried resurrecting the idea and were immediately rebuffed. Now, I am not meaning to throw mud around as I don't know the entire story but I do know that it might do with perceived differences in approach. CCA has a very academic focus, primarily because most of its members seem to be academics and the practical side of cartography seems to get lost. I am not familiar with NACIS but it seems to be focused much more on the practical side of things. Whatever the differences or reasons for them not speaking to each other, I do think it could benefit both from at least trying to explore commonalities and possible benefits of working together.

As to the North American component . . . having a conference outside of the US would probably require many conferees to A ) get a passport and B ) get higher up approval for international travel - either of which is likely to deter people from attending, even if the conference was just across the border. But yes, making it truly North American could benefit all.


You are correct that the CCA did approach NACIS to hold a joint conference but there was no interest. I really think these two organizations need to sit down and have a chat...

Traditionally the CCA has had an academic focus and still does. However, what has happened over the last 5 years or so is there are more "practical" cartographers that are members of the CCA. At the yearly conference an attempt is made to satisfy all areas (academic/practical).

In the past, the CCA has held joint conferences with other organizations very successfully. These include the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives, Canadian Association of Geographers and most recently the Canadian Remote Sensing Society to name a few. I believe NACIS is also in that list.

I would suggest that NACIS and the CCA revisit the possibility of holding a joint conference in the future. I'm not suggesting every year but once every five or so may benefit both organizations. Canadian Cartographic Association
Lori Anne Martin,
St. Catharines, Ontario
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#43
Lori Martin

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I'd love to go to a city like Montreal, Saskatoon, Winnipeg or Calgary one of these years. Or a place in the Northeast US like Providence, Portland (ME), Hartford, Concord, etc.

Just don't make me pay $179/night to stay in some hotel property in one of the major markets, please. I'd meet in an American Legion or community center and just sit around shooting the bull and chewing the fat about mapping if would allow more people to afford to come. And all I need in a hotel is a clean room with a pillow, wifi and 50-60 cable channels while I drift off to sleep.



When the CCA conference is held at a university, there are usually rooms in residence available at a very reasonable price. I have attended conferences at Memorial University (Newfoundland), Acadia (Nova Scotia), University of British Columbia (Vancouver) to name a few. Staying in residence makes it much more affordable.
Lori Anne Martin,
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#44
David Medeiros

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Just don't make me pay $179/night to stay in some hotel property in one of the major markets, please. I'd meet in an American Legion or community center and just sit around shooting the bull and chewing the fat about mapping if would allow more people to afford to come. And all I need in a hotel is a clean room with a pillow, wifi and 50-60 cable channels while I drift off to sleep.


For the 2009 Sacramento meeting, I stayed in a place across the street from the conference hotel for something like $50 less per night. Might not have had wifi, I don't know. But I bet I got all the same crappy TV channels you guys did across the way!

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#45
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Hans - I hoped they provided a pillow!


Cable channels too, or so I assume as I didn't even turn on the tv when I was staying there.
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