Cartographica The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization

Published by University of Toronto Press
Online ISSN: 1911-9925
Print ISSN: 0317-7173
It is useful to have mathematical criteria for evaluating errors in map projections. The Chebyshev criterion for minimizing rms (root mean square) local scale factor errors for conformal maps has been useful in developing conformal map projections of continents. Any local error criterion will be minimized ultimately by map projections with multiple interruptions, on which some pairs of points that are close on the globe are far apart on the map. Since it is as bad to have two points on the map at two times their proper separation as to have them at half their proper separation, it is the rms logarithmic distance, s, between random points in the mapped region that we will minimize. The best previously known projection of the entire sphere for distances is the Lambert equal-area azimuthal with an rms logarithmic distance error of s=0.343. For comparison, the Mercator has s=0.444, and the Mollweide has s=0.390. We present new projections: the "Gott equal-area elliptical" with perfect shapes on the central meridian, the "Gott-Mugnolo equal-area elliptical" and the "Gott-Mugnolo azimuthal" with rms logarithmic distance errors of s=0.365, s=0.348, and s=0.341 respectively, which improve on previous projections of their type. The "Gott-Mugnolo azimuthal" has the lowest distance errors of any map and is produced by a new technique using "forces" between pairs of points on a map which make them move so as to minimize s. The "Gott equal-area elliptical" projection produces a particularly attractive map of Mars, and the "Gott-Mugnolo azimuthal" projection produces an interesting map of the moon.
Understood as the product of an agent of knowledge, the cartographic work of Shawnadithit (the last known Beothuk survivor in Newfoundland) questions a whole set of essential and Eurocentric notions of identity, space and history. Geographically, it displaces the 'new'-ness and emptiness of the Europeans' Newfoundland. Historically, it disrupts a traditional treatment of native people as at once sacrificial victims and heroic proxies in Canadian national history. And epistemologically, it serves to put into question some of the dominant modes of classifying 'indigenous cartography' within cartographic history. In order for such disruptive effects to be realized, it is necessary to shuttle between demythologizing and deconstructing the map—two modes of analysis that need to be better distinguished in scholarship that addresses maps as technologies of power/knowledge. [Colonial boundaries drawn on maps] provide perhaps the most spectacular illustrations of how an anticipatory geography served to frame colonial territories in the minds of statesmen and territorial speculators back in Europe. Maps were the first step in the appropriation of territory. Such visualizations from a distance became critical in choreographing the colonial expansion of early modern Europe. [However the map as] an instrument of colonial power could be reappropriated by colonized people. —Brian Harley1 [T]he look of surveillance returns as the displacing gaze of the disciplined, [a process in which] the observer becomes the observed and the partial representation rearticulates the whole notion of identity and alienates it from essence. —Homi Bhabha2
A Typology of Geographic Lines ______________________________________________________
IntroductionCartographic Background Models of Space and Cartographic RepresentationA Model of Area-Class DataDigital Representations of ‘Soil Type’TransformationsA Model for Generalization of Area-Class BoundariesDiscussionReferences
Some apparently powerful algorithms for automatic label placement on maps use heuristics that capture considerable cartographic expertise but are hampered by provably inefficient methods of search and optimization. On the other hand, no approach to label placement that is based on an efficient optimization technique has been applied to the production of general cartographic maps --- those with labeled point, line, and area features --- and shown to generate labelings of acceptable quality. We present an algorithm for label placement that achieves the twin goals of practical efficiency and high labeling quality by combining simple cartographic heuristics with effective stochastic optimization techniques. To appear in Cartographica. 1 Introduction Many apparently compelling techniques for automatic label placement use sophisticated heuristics for capturing cartographic knowledge, but, as noted by Zoraster (1991), also use inferior optimization strategies for finding good tradeoffs betwe...
This paper extends the current critique of cartography's empiricist presuppositions to the nature of cartography as a practice. After exploring the relevant aspects of empiricist cartography - the manner in which geographic data are treated as constituting a single, monolithic database and the reliance upon a linear and progressive view of cartographic history - a new interpretation of cartography's nature and of its history are presented. Cartography should be seen as a complex amalgam of cartographic modes rather than as a monolithic enterprise. Each mode comprises a set of cultural, social and technological relationships which determine cartographic practices. This concept is applied to modern European cartography in the period between 1500 and 1850, when map making appeared to progress from being an art to being a science (the 'cartographic reformation'). Approaching this period without prior assumptions of progress reveals that cartography's reformation is a myth created by our misunderstanding of the unified mode of Enlightenment cartography, 'mathematical cosmography'. Considering the history of cartography to be the history of the internal changes and external interactions of several modes would appear to be consistent with the complexity of both the historical record and the character of map making as an intellectual, technological, social and cultural process.
Editors' overviewReality to cognitive realmsFormation of the cartographer's conception of a map from his cognitive realmThe cartographic languageMap reading and the cognitive realm of the observerConclusions ReferencesFurther readingSee also
This articles examines the local variability of public participation GIS (PPGIS) by urban community revitalization organizations, arguing that this variability is in part shaped by a variety of organizational factors. Existing research has shown PPGIS production to be highly context dependent, identifying an ever-growing set of key elements of this context, including a variety of locally available resources for GIS access and use as well as organizational capacities and characteristics. Contributing to current efforts to expand the conceptual basis of PPGIS research, this article argues that the conceptualization of organizational context must be expanded beyond internal capacities to include organizational networks with local actors, institutions, and resources; organizational knowledge and stability; and organization mission and priorities, all of which shape its activities and relationships, as well as the utility of available GIS resources. This broadened conception of organizational context enables a stronger explanation of the influencing role of organizations in PPGIS, as well as of local variability in PPGIS. These arguments are developed from comparative case study research with six Milwaukee, WI, community revitalization organizations engaged in PPGIS within a city-wide participatory planning initiative.
The paper draws on ideas in postmodern thinking to redefine the nature of maps as representations of power. The traditional rules of cartography – long rooted in a scientific epistemology of the map as an objective form of knowledge – will first be reviewed as an object of deconstruction. Second, a deconstructionist argument will explore the textuality of maps, including their metaphorical and rhetorical nature. Third, the paper will examine the dimensions both of external power and of the omnipresence of internal power in the cartographic representation of place.
In both Chinese studies and the history of cartography, maps in the gazetteers of the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE) have rarely been explored. A recent approach to studying early maps has been directed to relationships among culture, society, and cartography. This article discusses how political power is reflected in the maps in the existing Chinese administrative gazetteers of the Song dynasty. An overview of the study's history is given, followed by an introduction to the maps in Song administrative gazetteers. The analysis then focuses on how political power influenced map production and how political power was emphasized in the gazetteer maps. The result of the examination shows that political power controlled the production process of many gazetteers. Using the techniques of map selection, cartographic design, and symbolization, the emperor's power and state territory were clearly emphasized on these maps. This article supports the general notion that maps are not simply cartographic representations of the spatial world but can also be viewed as cultural images that reflect the societies in which they are produced.
The 1507 World Map by Martin Waldseemüller shows, for the first time, a depiction of the New World as a separate landmass detached from Asia. This study compares the outline of South America on the Waldseemüller map using several related computational methods. First, the projection is analysed, modelled, and compared with the modern outline of South America, which is found to be tantalizingly similar in form and location to the 1507 representation. Second, polynomial warping algorithms of the second order are applied to the world map and spatial interpolations are carried out. The newly produced regression surfaces and curves are analysed for inflection-point behaviour, and global and local correlation coefficients are calculated to give some indication of the geometric similarity between the 1507 and modern forms. The shape and location of the South American continent on the 1507 map is chronometrically problematic, since neither Balboa nor Magellan had reached the Pacific Ocean by this time. The study concludes that, based on these interpolations, it is probable that Waldseemüller had geographic information that is no longer extant or has yet to be discovered for his 1507 portrayal of the New World.
Some time ago, "Maphist" the leading discussion group in the field of map history, launched an opinion poll in order to find out which saint can justly be claimed to be the patron of cartographers and map-makers. This article suggests one answer: the Breton itinerant preacher Michel Le Nobletz (1577-1652). With the help of several pious women cartographers, Le Nobletz produced allegorical sea charts and used them as a teaching device to catechize his congregations on the Christian virtues. He not only defended the use of maps vigorously against church authorities but also created a legal body in order to preserve them. Thus he became a forerunner of the type of map society founded in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Italian city of Milan provides a fascinating laboratory for disentangling the historical layers that structure the spatial layout of a European city. In the last 250 years, the temporal span of this study, Milan has played a key role in Italy's industrialization and as its gateway to the centres of economic and cultural modernization in Western Europe. This article proposes a spatial analytical methodology that incorporates geovisualization techniques to discover and map urban change in Milan. Using historical maps dating back to the eighteenth century and a 2005 official city map, we applied methods of spatial analysis and geovisualization techniques to determine which parts of the city changed the most in the time interval considered. We then drew parallels between urban changes and political changes in the history of the city. Urban change is defined here as a change in the form and structure of the city (new buildings, new or widened roads, new squares, etc.). Results indicate that morphological changes at the intra-urban scale in Milan appear to be spatially oriented to reflect national and international political events from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Although this result was not unexpected, the extent to which changes in the built-up environment reflect historical events was somewhat surprising.
This article assesses the accuracy of the terrain models of Joachim Eugen Mu ̈ller (1752–1833) in relation to moderndigital elevation data using non-contact 3D digitizing techniques. The results are objective testimony to the skill andendeavour of Joachim Eugen Mu ̈ller. Using techniques primitive by modern standards, Mu ̈ller provided Johann HenryWeiss (1758–1826) with data of hitherto unparalleled quality that were essential to the production of theAtlas Suissepar Meyer et Weiss. The results also demonstrate that non-contact 3D digitizing techniques not only provide a suitabledata-capture method for solid terrain model analysis but are also a means of preserving digital facsimiles of such precious artefacts.
Since the introduction of geographic information systems (GIS) to natural resource management in the 1970s, there has been a logical increase in the use of GIS by natural resource management organizations. This article assesses the literature in applied North American forestry journals, which are read mainly by forest practitioners, and illustrates the trends of technological adoption by natural resource management organizations. We conclude that the diversity of GIS technology use in forestry is increasing and evolving to a high and complex level. While small-scale (local) and site-specific natural resource applications predominate the use of GIS in this literature, landscape applications have gained more attention and importance in recent years, mainly in the western and north-central United States. Although several of the journals we reviewed emphasize the practical nature and value of information, few papers were located that illustrate GIS implementation in natural resource organizations or advances in GIS technology. The professions associated with natural resource management have traditionally been adopters of technology (rather than developers), but, since GIS is so closely tied to the management and assessment of landscapes, it is possible that the issues that arise in natural resource management have had a significant impact on the development of GIS analytical techniques. We suggest that surveys be performed frequently (every five years) so that the natural resource management field can stay current with changes in technology and in employer expectations. This assessment has pointed out the trends and gaps in the forestry-related literature and suggests opportunities for future dissemination of information. Research papers lead the widespread adoption of technology by a decade or more; thus, through this work, one can envision what might become commonplace a decade from now. Those unaware of the relatively short history of the technology and how it has evolved may gain some understanding from this brief history of the use of GIS in natural resource management.
Courses in cartography that thrived in university departments of geography in the 1970s and 1980s declined in number in the early 1990s, mostly to accommodate GIS but also partly in response to the cultural turn in geography away from quantitative methods. Today, we are witnessing a revival of mapping and cartography as a result of enhanced software tools for the creation of maps, the Internet and public mapping sites for the creation and dissemination of maps, community cartography projects, and a shift from traditional cartography to representation and geovisualization. As described in this article, a 2007 survey of cartography course offerings at Canadian universities sought to explore whether, and how, this revival has been reflected in the academic teaching of cartography necessary to support aesthetics of map design and tools for geovisualization. The results demonstrate that cartography courses are offered at almost all Canadian universities. At the introductory level, course content does not vary significantly from fundamental principles of cartography. At the advanced level, however, course content is highly varied, embracing the wide range of topics relevant to the new cartography and visualization epistemology of today.
Today, the technical generation of modern perspective views (so-called 3D maps) for static, animated, and dynamic use is highly advanced. Nevertheless, aspects of the design of such views and of their impact on readers have rarely been investigated in cartographic research. The establishment of cartographic design principles is missing, to a large extent. Within the framework of a research project, propositions for such principles were derived by evaluating settings and options for specific graphic variables. Based on an inventory of design aspects and graphic variables for 3D maps, selected cues for two major design aspects (degree of abstraction and size of map objects) and five different graphic variables (viewing inclination, zoom factor, light direction, haze density, and sky structure) were evaluated by means of 3D map examples and expert interviews. A set of cartographic design principles was derived from this evaluation and proposed for more detailed user tests. The proposed design principles could also be seen as the beginning of a framework to extend cartographic theory and assist map authors in the iterative design process.
This article proposes a novel framework for online visualization of 3D city models. CityGML is used to represent the city models, based on which 3D scenes in X3D are generated, then dynamically updated to the user side with AJAX and visualized in WebGL-supported browsers with X3DOM. The experimental results show that the proposed framework can easily be implemented using widely supported major browsers and can efficiently support online visualization of 3D city models in small areas. For the visualization of large volumes of data, generalization methods and multiple-representation data structure should be studied in future research.
Avi Bar-Zeev is a co-founder of Keyhole ( - maker of EarthViewer, which later became Google Earth (http:// - and an early employee of Intrinsic Graphics and a number of interesting start-ups. He developed technologies for Second Life, including the procedural 3D object rendering code. Early in his career, he helped develop Disney's Aladdin's Magic Carpet VR Ride, (, one of the first real-time (60 fps) first-person immersive entertainment applications, and went on to lead or influence a number of Disney 3D experiences. He typically consults for a living, inventing technologies as needed and helping clients through the maze of options. He regularly blogs about subjects related to his technical interests and expertise at http://
Extending a special session held at the 2008 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Boston, this commentary collection highlights elements of the critical GIS research agenda that are particularly pressing. Responding to a Progress report on critical GIS written by David O'Sullivan in 2006, these six commentaries discuss how different interpretations of 'critical' are traced through critical GIS research. Participants in the panel session discussed the need for a continued discussion of a code of ethics in GIS use in the context of ongoing efforts to alter or remake the software and its associated practices, of neo-geographies and volunteered geographies. There were continued calls for hope and practical ways to actualize this hope, and a recognition that critical GIS needs to remain relevant to the technology. This 'relevance' can be variously defined, and in doing so, researchers should consider their positioning vis-à-vis the technology. Throughout the commentaries collected here, a question remains as to what kind of work disciplinary sub-fields such as critical GIS and GIScience perform. This is a question about language, specifically the distance that language can create among practitioners and theoreticians, both in the case of critical GIS and more broadly throughout GIScience.
As populations age, more and more people have some kind of restrictions on their mobility. In order to increase the potential of mobility-impaired persons to move around and navigate independently, information on the accessibility of the environment should be supported by map services and delivered together with spatial information to their devices for personal navigation. Spatial databases for pedestrian route planning should contain more detailed information on accessibility, such as pavement surfaces, slopes, and stairs. This study examines a wide range of examples of map services in Finland in terms of the extent to which they support accessibility. The authors then provide and discuss a proposal for the information content of a geospatial database to fulfil the requirements of users with impairments. With guidelines for data content, data classification, and functionality, map information can be developed so that it is also more useful for special user groups and makes the environment more accessible for everyone.
Screenshot of MapAnalyst’s main window (version 1.2.1). 
W. Haas, Die Landschaft Basel und das Frickthal (1798). Approximately 21 Â 34 cm; scale 1:177,300; rotation 16 8 . Overlaid by (a) displacement vectors, (b) a distortion grid, (c) scale isolines, and (d) rotation isolines. 
MapAnalyst is a new software application for the visualization and study of the planimetric accuracy of old maps. It illustrates local map distortion by generating distortion grids, displacement vectors, and new isolines of scale and rotation. MapAnalyst additionally computes the old map's scale and rotation, as well as statistical indicators summarizing the map's geometric accuracy. It offers a user-friendly interface and is freely available for all major computer platforms at . Map historians are invited to use MapAnalyst, and are encouraged to consult and improve the free Java source-code. This article describes the steps leading to visualizations of a map's planimetric accuracy. It provides basic algorithmic information that is necessary for the understanding and correct interpretation of displacement vectors and distortion grids. It also introduces isolines of equal scale and rotation, a new type of accuracy visualization. The last section interprets sample visualizations for an eighteenth century map.
Intermediate legend drawn with all candidate values (left) and final legend with filtered values (right).
Automatic legends for small (left) and large (right) ranges.
Legends for proportional symbol maps normally show the largest and the smallest symbols on the map, along with selected intermediate symbols. This short article presents automatic self-adjusting legends that show visually equally spaced symbols, if possible at round values. The number of intermediate symbols is automatically adjusted to the size of the legend. The method can be applied to any symbol size, to mathematical and perceptual scaling of the symbol size, to any geometric or pictographic symbols, and to arbitrary value ranges, including very large or very small minimum and maximum values. Self-adjusting legends are well suited to a variety of mapping applications that represent numerical data as graduated symbol maps, such as desktop GIS or online mapping systems and atlases. [Note: The abstract of this manuscript was not included with the printed version by mistake.]
Top-cited authors
Donna J. Peuquet
  • Pennsylvania State University
Mark Monmonier
  • Syracuse University
Alan MacEachren
  • Pennsylvania State University
Mei-Po Kwan
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong