Those of you who have attended a conference even vaguely related to cartography in the last couple of weeks may have already seen the above image. If so, I’m guessing it was handed to you with a smile and a verbal invitation to come to Madison, Wisconsin in October for the best cartography, geohacking, map collecting, map art, geodesign, &c. conference of the year. (Sorry, ICC. Paris is great, but it’s not NACIS in Madison. Of course I am slightly biased as a graduate student living in… er, Madison.) But if you have not yet seen this call for participation, I urge you to have a look at it and seriously consider either presenting or attending. This year’s conference promises to be a cartographic barn-burner. The theme is dynamic and will speak to GIScientists, cartographers, journalists, information designers, librarians, and artists alike. Let’s face it—no matter what kind of work you are doing in the field, this is an age of data, and it will do us all well to address this question: How does design make a difference?
Part of my stab at addressing this question will be in the form of a session on Art in Modern Cartography. Does this sound like something else you may have seen on my blog recently? If it does, there is a reason. What started as a one-off cheeky Venn diagram created in Chicago O’Hare whilst coping with extreme sleep deprivation after a red-eye returning from AAG snowballed into a somewhat lively blogospheric debate concerning the placement of “art” in cartography on the Web. This debate snowballed so much, in fact, that I decided to pull together a NACIS 2011 session.
Now, I should explain that I am well aware that the art/science debate in cartography has been going on for decades. The number of books and articles on the subject is impressive (and constantly growing). But in the literature I have seen, very little discussion has taken place regarding art in cartography on the Web. So, my hope with this session is to fill that gap and have that discussion by addressing how art plays into modern cartography both on and off the Web.
What. NACIS 2011 Session > Art in Modern Cartography.
When & Where. October 12-14, 2011 > Madison, Wisconsin
Purpose. To investigate the ways art influences, drives, inspires and facilitates various forms of modern cartographic design (on and off the Web).
Participants. I am very pleased to be able to report that I have received some interest in this session already. So far, we will hear from cartographer-artists who have specialties ranging from mental maps to digital and analog art and information design to critical cartography, &c.
Call. I would love to hear from more carto-artistic folks who might be interested in participating in this session. If this seems right up your alley, drop me a line and I will fill you in on the details. The format of the session is going to be mildly nontraditional. So, if long papers and big crowds make you wince, don’t be shy.
Contact. twallace2 [at] wisc [dotty-dot] edu.
Promotional Venn (last one, I swear).