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I met with Byron Moldofsky on May 20th, who is the manager of the Cartography office at the university.  He was very helpful in pointing me to people that could help me in my research, as well as giving me his general comments.  He also gave me NPRI maps that his own team had already made, which I thought was a pretty funny coincidence, and my team appreciated them, they are now hanging in our GIS pod 🙂

Fraser Taylor seems to be the person to talk to, as he coined the term “Cybercartography”.  He is a Geography and Environmental professor at Carleton University.  We have touched base through email, and he has pointed me to some of his students who are working around the area of web-mapping accessibility.  One is interested in the policy side of accessibility which will be handy from an Environment Canada point of view.  We shall see what will develop.

I’ll be in Ottawa in June for work, so hopefully I can meet with Fraser and his students then.


As I am about to return some books to the library, I thought I had better document some of the books I’ve gone over for future reference:

Introduction to Thematic Cartography Judith Tyner

Good definition of how thematic mapping differs from other types of maps, and which situations are best used for each type.

Purpose of thematic maps:

  • to provide information on what and perhaps how much occurs at different places, that is, data storage
  • to map the characteristics of a geographic phenomenon to reveal its spatial order and organization

This book also gave me a good description and outline on the process of Generalization in cartography.

  • Selection
  • Simplification
  • Classifying or Grouping
  • Symbolization

…as well as what is taken into consideration when a cartographer is faced with task of generalizing the data:

  • Purpose
  • Scale of Map
  • Readers abilities
  • Cartographer’s Equipment and Skills

Seeing Through Maps Kaiser and Wood

This is a pretty fun read and is a basic overall summary of maps.  It reads more like a workbook, with activities throughout.  I think it would be a good introductory book  for young adults interested in mapping and cartography, but it also worked for me (ha ha).  It has a good theoretical approach, and came across as very motivational concerning the field of mapping.

It hit home how important the purpose of the map is, and how it must constantly be kept in mind through it’s design.

Although a large part of the book was explaining different projections, and didn’t help me much, I found the rest useful.  It is also written with a sense of humour, which always help.

Describing a map:

“As with the truth, the subject of the map seems simple.  But when you try to put it into words, it turns out to be hard.  In fact, the map is not at all what it seems.”

“eyes and maps present selective visions, tailored to our needs.  The needs – the purposes – act as editors or fitters or lenses to let us hone in on what is important at the moment.”

Concerning generalization:

“To create a map is to abstract from the world those factors deemed important, and display them in a forum that allows them to be useful.” a map is rich in data – we want to display info that will be the most impactful to a reader – just as a map does – this all depends on the purpose.

Map Use and Analysis John Campbell