Ask A Cartographer

cartographic design and GIS

January 21 2011 | 0 comments
Categories: Cartographic Concepts, Cartographic Design, Map Data

what are the importance of cartographic design knowledge in ensuring effective GIS output in relation to spatial information dissemination?

Mapping Center Answer:

As you can imagine our answer would be, we think this is of extreme importance.  In Map Use, Sixth Edition, you will find this in the Foreword:

"What special powers are needed to look at this greatly abstracted environmental representation and conjure up a useful image of the environment that was mapped? At the minimum it requires an ability to read the map. Mastering the graphical language of mapping requires a special set of skills. The process is far from transparent. Maps depicting raw data and concrete objects look similar to maps showing highly processed conceptual information. Thus, maps can easily mask the detail and complexity of the information mapped. The map legend is the key to unlocking information coded into these data-rich symbols. But most map legends fall far short of what the reader needs. The unfortunate result is that many people are not able to make sense of the highly processed data portrayals that are so characteristic of GIS mapping."

This is just one example for many that I could use to try to explain what value we place on cartographic design knowledge and its ability to unlock the messages in GIS data.

If you would like to post a comment, please login.

Contact Us | Legal | Privacy |