Posts Tagged ‘NACIS’

Cartography Design Annual #2 is Now Available

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

cartography_design_annual2_promo

[Editor's note: Looking for map design inspiration? This second volume, now available from Lulu for $39.95 is brought to us by Nick Springer and a forward by Tom Patterson. Look for two Washington Post maps, one by yours truly.]

Republished from CartographyDesignAnnual.com.
By Nick Springer on December 11th, 2009

Showcasing the Art of Map Making

The Cartography Design Annual is a collection of maps from some of the top cartographers in the world capturing the beauty of mapping. Compiled and edited by Nick Springer, the Cartography Design Annual collects a select group of maps published in the calendar year 2008. The maps cover a broad spectrum of cartographic styles: 3D birds-eye views, travel maps, historic-style maps, mountain maps, and many more. The Annual is published by Springer Cartographics LLC, with support from NACIS (the North American Cartographic Information Society). The book, in beautiful full-color with an overview and detail view of each map, is both a showcase for cartographers and a interesting collection for anyone who loves maps.

The first Cartography Design Annual was received with great praise and excitement from the cartographic community and so the series continues with this second edition. With a foreword by Tom Patterson of the U.S. National Park Service in the second edition, the release Cartography Design Annual series is becoming an anticipated event for cartographers.

The book contains 30 maps from cartographers in the United States, Canada, Sweden, Norway, and Poland. This is book #2 in what will be an annual series.

The editor, Nick Springer is also the founder of Cartotalk.com, the most popular online community for cartographers worldwide. “The first edition of the Cartography Design Annual was a bit of an experiment, but all of the great feedback I received form cartographers proved that there is a need for this kind of showcase.” said Mr. Springer. “I hope this year’s edition will gain even broader exposure outside the world of cartographers.”

Mr. Springer is the Founder and President of Springer Cartographics LLC in Crosswicks, NJ and has worked for Microsoft Corporation as a Product Designer creating mapping applications and also designs software for GPS navigation systems. He studied Geography and Cartography at Syracuse University.

Buy the book from Lulu . . .

read-write mapping: NACIS Conference Keynote by Michal Migurski of Stamen Design

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

[Editor's note: I'm just getting back from the annual NACIS conference and decompressing from backpacking, family and friends in the Golden State. Our great keynote speaker this year was Michal Migurski of Stamen Design who talked up the OpenStreetMap project. Mike has also been kind enough to help out with the Natural Earth Data site which will go live in another couple weeks once Tom and I have polished the data. Without further ado, the keynote...]

Republished from tecznotes.

[clip] I used the opportunity to talk about the fascinating OpenStreetMap project, specifically the ways in which it’s useful to a cartography audience and how that audience could benefit the project. This last thing in particular is what I closed with: I think the online face of OSM’s rendered tiles could use serious input from the NACIS community, particularly at the kinds of medium scales where the highly-detailed data blurs into “features”. Much of this happens by-hand in tools like Adobe Illustrator from what I can tell, a very different workflow from the industrial automation offered by my favorite stand-by, Mapnik.

This is a talk about a new awareness of maps and geography, and a change in attitudes toward maps.

I’m going start with a small detour here to tell you about an online phenomenon that’s going on four or so years now, called Unboxing. Unboxing is a kind of geek striptease, described in one site’s tagline as a “vicarious thrill from opening new gear”.

Unboxing is a response to the meticulous packaging of modern electronics gear, most notably Apple’s range of iPods, iPhones, and Mac computers – careful design is invested in the packaging, and careful appreciation is invested in its removal.

Why unboxing? Two aspects of the trend seem relevant here.

First, it’s a new kind of visibility into the fan club culture around popular electronics, allowing users to elevate their own appreciation of a mass-market good into a social experience. I remember bicycling past the Apple Store and the Cingular store on San Francisco’s Market St. on the day the iPhone was released. There were enormous lines in front of each, and as customers picked up their new iPhones they’d walk out the door, break into a jog, and high-five the remainder of the line. The division between fan and star here evaporates.

Second, the delivery mechanism for this fan-produced culture tends to be online sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube. Both are examples of the phenomenon of the “Read Write Web”, the now-familiar pattern of web-based communities formed around the creation and sharing of social objects like photos and videos.

One effect of these online communities is a new and durable awareness of the process behind creative production. Pages on Flickr or YouTube follow a pattern you’re probably familiar with: title in the upper-left, main “thing” just below that, and to the right at the same level of importance, the person who made it for you. Responsibility and provenance along with all the messiness and point-of-view are built-in assumptions.

In the world of text, we see this same pattern on Wikipedia.

This is the History Flow project from Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas at IBM, which shows edits to a single Wikipedia article over time as threads and contributions from a group of editors.

Like this one, each article has been beaten into shape over time by a group of people following loose rules of cooperation, so each page has an associated “Talk” page where you can peek into the arguments and negotiations connected to the particular set of facts represented there. You can see the sausage being made. You can also cause the sausage to be made, as we saw with Stephen Colbert’s parody of consensual reality he called “wikiality” and used to make occasional, abusive, hilarious forays into Wikipedia.

This is where we segue into geography.

Around 2004 or so, UK developer Steve Coast started a project called OpenStreetMap, the Wiki world map. Steve was connecting a few emerging threads: the falling cost of GPS hardware since it was made available for civilian use in 1996, the dismal copyright layer wrapped around Ordnance Survey maps, and the lack of a viable crappy-but-free alternative in the UK. It’s hard to overstate how crazy this idea was at the time; everyone knows that collecting worldwide geographic data at the street level is a massive undertaking, out of reach of an enthusiast community like the OSM of the time.

What was the state of online mapping at the time? Not terrible, but not great.

Continue reading at tecznotes  . . .

Prepping for NACIS, The World According to Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

I’m crazy busy prepping for NACIS, wrapping up Natural Earth, and catching up on life. That being the case, I’m taking a little blog vacation. I’ll pick up posting here on the 14th of October.

In the meantime, in honor of the NACIS conference’s Sacramento location, here’s a mental map of The World According to Ronald Reagan:

the-world-according-to-ronald-reagan

All Aboard For NACIS Sacramento in October!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

sacramentoThe program for the 2009 NACIS annual conference has been announced. The location this year is Sacramento, Calif., from Wednesday, October 7th to Saturday the 10th. I will be presenting Natural Earth Vector with Tom Patterson and crew at the Practical Cartography Day event before the main conference.

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

Opening session speaker will be Michal Migurski, Stamen Design in San Francisco. Michal is Partner and Director of Technology Stamen, and maintains an active blog about mapping and design. Several Saturday field trips are available.

See the nation’s most spectacular scenery on the way to this year’s NACIS conference. Join Dennis McClendon and the rolling Geodweeb party train as it heads from Chicago to Sacramento. More info is available via the CartoTalk forum posting.

trainmap

First Look at Natural Earth Vector

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Tom Patterson and I collaborated on the precursor to his first Natural Earth Raster project several years ago and we now preview Natural Earth Raster + Vector, a new free product due Fall 2009 that complements and expands on the previous work by providing detailed GIS linework at the 1:15,000,000 (1:15 million) scale and new versions of the raster product (including cross-blended hyspometric tints). The Washington Post, where I work, is contributing 2 more vector GIS base maps at the 1:50m and 1:110m scales and new versions of Natural Earth Raster will be released for those scales. This is a NACIS and mapgiving co-branded product with assistance from the University of Wisconson-Madison cartography lab, Florida State University, and others.

Please attend the October NACIS 2009 map conference in Sacramento, California for the unveiling.

More description and preview images after the jump.

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ISO global road, rail shapefile (Kelso)

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I’m in search of a super generalized but comprehensive global coverage dataset or datasets that shows major highways and rail lines, even sea lanes. You can see an example of this on Plate 21 of the National Geographic 8th Edition Atlas of the World. Do you know of one? Please shoot me a note to nathaniel@kelsocartography.com or comment here if you have a tip.

Why do I want such? I am working with Tom Patterson (of Natural Earth fame) and Dick Furno (retired from The Washington Post) to release a comprehensive, attributed GIS base map dataset derived in part from the Natural Earth physical wall map at around 1:15,000,000 scale and two other consistent and self referential datasets at approx. scales of 1:50m and 1:110m. These datasets will provide coverage that perfectly registers with the modern satellite remote sensing imagery and SRTM derived topography. Yes there is 1:1m coverage around the world but it is often out of date and too detailed for doing global, continental, and regional mapping.

We hope these open source datasets will allow everyone in the cartographic community to focus on telling the best “why” and “how” visual story about their thematic data instead of spending 50 to 70% of project time looking for or creating the vector geometry that captures the basic “where” of their thematic data.

Release is expected Fall 2009 at the NACIS map conference in Sacramento. Please check back in this space for more details as they develop.

Conference Announcement: 1st ICA Symposium “True-3D in Cartography”

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission for the 1st International ICA/DGfK Symposium “True-3D in Cartography” which will be held at Dreikönigskirche Conference Centre, Dresden, 24-28  August 2009, has been extended until 31 March 2009.

Below you find the list of envisaged topics:

  • Anaglyph Displays
  • Animated True 3D
  • CAVEs
  • Chromo-Stereoscopy
  • CNC Relief-Milling
  • Earth Relief Globes
  • E-Paper and True 3D
  • Hand-Made Geomodels
  • Analogue Holography
  • Digital Holography
  • Hyperglobes
  • Lenticular Foil Technology
  • Polarisation Technology
  • Relief-Molding Technology
  • Solid State Geomodels
  • Shutter Glass Technology
  • Stereo-Lithography
  • Virtual Environments
  • 3D Printing etc.

Please, find more information at the conference web site: http://kartographie.geo.tu-dresden.de/true3Dincartography09/

For any other specific information concerning the conference you can contact steffi.sharma@tu-dresden.de.
Feel free to forward this message to all colleagues who might be interested in this ICA meeting.

Looking forward to seeing you in Dresden in August 2009.

Manfred Buchroithner

Manfred Buchroithner

Also check out these two blog posts to get a feel for the type of content and people who attend this type of conference:

Meet Toni Mair — Terrain Artist Extraordinaire

2008 Mountain Cartography Confernce in Switzerland Approaches

Shockwave Player for Mac (Adobe)

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

[Editor's note: Back in 2000 I received 1st place in the interactive division, NACIS Student Web Mapping contest with my Annual Precipitation in California. This project was completed in my Advanced Cartography class at Humboldt State using Macromedia Director, the raster predecessor to Flash. Adobe has just released an update for their player web plugin that allows me to walk down memory lane on my Intel Mac.]

Republished from Adobe (1 | 2).

Download Shockwave Player 11 for Mac 10.4 and Windows.

Over 480 million Internet-enabled desktops have installed Adobe Shockwave Player in mature markets around the world. These people now have access to some of the best the Web has to offer – including dazzling 3D games and entertainment, interactive product demonstrations, and online learning applications. Shockwave Player displays Web content that has been created by Adobe (Macromedia) Director.

Natural Earth III – Data for Visualizing Earth from Space (Patterson)

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

[Editor's note: I am pleased to announce Tom Patterson's new Natural Earth III. This dataset is optimized for 3d visualization of the earth from space and includes an optimized cloud layer and enhanced colors for broadcast. iPhone and desktop wallpapers are available. Tom will formally present this new dataset at the SoC summer school in Scotland next week. I'm guessing they'll be a repeat at this year's NACIS conference as well.. Dig in!]

Republished from ShadedRelief.org.

Natural Earth III is raster map data for creating illustrations and animations of our planet with a plausibly realistic appearance. Using the data requires 3D or mapping software. Legibility is a key feature. Compared to photographs of Earth taken from space, Natural Earth III offers brighter colors, fewer clouds over land areas, distinct environmental zones, 3D mountains, and continuous rivers. Other features include:

  • Interchangeable data files that align precisely with each other.
  • Georeferencing information.
  • Seamless edge matching at 180 degrees longitude.
  • High resolution: 16,200 x 8,100 pixels (80 arc second).
  • Natural Earth III is free and without use restrictions.

Tom Patterson, US National Park Service (Disclaimer)

Data hosted by: Springer Cartographics.

Red-Green Color Vision Impairment

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

the economist logoAn article I was reading in this week’s Economist magazine reminded me of Color Oracle, the software Bernhard Jenny (Swiss Institute of Cartography, ETH Zurich) developed to silence my continual prodding after listening to Cynthia Brewer talk about color blindness (color vision impairment) at a NACIS conference in 2000 (?!). It struck me there should be a tool that actually allowed the designer to see what their design looked like to someone with this impairment and not just try to make something work using limited “blessed” color combinations. An earlier effort produced Sim Daltonism, a Mac only tool that does a similar job as Color Oracle.

Color Oracle takes the guesswork out of designing for color blindness by showing you in real time what people with common color vision impairments will see. Color Oracle applies a full screen color filter to art you are designing – independently of the software that you are using. Eight percent of all males are affected by color vision impairment and it’s good to make sure that your graphical work is readable by the widest possible audience. This software is free and works on Mac, Windows, and even Linux. Get it here.

Back to the Economist graphic on real prefectural spending per person in Japan This graphic uses a divergent color scheme that is convenient for most readers, but hard to read for others. The strong hue contrast between the red and green segments of the legend’s color ramp becomes hard to distinguish for people with color vision impairment (see 2nd image past the jump for simulated view using Color Oracle).

economist japan graphic normal

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