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Main Conference [clear filter]
Thursday, October 18

9:00am EDT

Cartographic Design I
Introducing the Equal Earth Projection
Presenter: Tom Patterson, US National Park Service
Copresenters: Bojan Savric, Esri; Bernhard Jenny, Monash University
The Equal Earth map projection is a new equal-area pseudocylindrical projection for world maps. It looks similar to the widely used Robinson projection, but unlike the Robinson projection, retains the relative size of areas. Continental outlines are shown in a visually pleasing and balanced way. Equations are simple to implement and fast to evaluate. We introduce the Equal Earth projection as a response to the recent wave of news stories about the unfortunate switch of Boston Public Schools to the Gall-Peters. To encourage adoption, we will release a world political map in the Equal Earth projection online free of charge.

Evolution of Map Design at National Geographic
Presenter: Matt Chwastyk, National Geographic
Maps are integral to the story telling in National Geographic Magazine. As the narratives told became more diverse and accessible, answering the mandate to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," cartographic design at the Society also evolved. Surveying the last 130 years of mapping at National Geographic, we will examine how design and content have changed over time as new technologies and capabilities were integrated. The recent redesign of the monthly has also opened new unique avenues of journalism using maps.

How to Play with Maps
Presenter: Ross Thorn, UW-Madison
Cartographic design guidelines are traditionally grounded in the concept of work, striving for optimal efficiency and effectiveness when accomplishing tasks. However, some maps are designed to facilitate play and adhere to game design principles that create a challenging, yet satisfying experience. Video games often provide in-game maps to help players navigate through and make sense of these increasingly complex geographies. This session discusses common characteristics of playful maps, how these characteristics overlap with traditional cartographic design tenets, and how one grad student convinced his department to buy hundreds of dollars worth of video games.

Mapping the fiery chaos of the 1968 riots
Presenter: Lauren Tierney, The Washington Post
Following the news of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.s’ assassination on April 4, 1968, rioting exploded throughout Washington, D.C., leaving 13 dead and more than 900 businesses damaged. For the 50th anniversary, The Washington Post mapped the extent of the rioting throughout the city, plotting data compiled from declassified Secret Service reports and archival city planning documents. Specific topics in this presentation will include the initial sketch and design steps, the visualization of archival data, and the reworking of the digital piece for print.

avatar for Leo Dillon

Leo Dillon

NACIS President, U.S. State Department


Matt Chwastyk

National Geographic

Tom Patterson

US National Park Service
avatar for Ross Thorn

Ross Thorn

Cartographer, Red Giant Maps
avatar for Lauren Tierney

Lauren Tierney

Graphics Reporter, The Washington Post

Thursday October 18, 2018 9:00am - 10:20am EDT
Hampton VI-VII

9:00am EDT

Mapping and Software Development with Open Data I
Mapping Population Data at the U.S. Census Bureau
Presenter: Darryl Cohen, U.S. Census Bureau
Maps are valuable tools that assist data users in understanding and interpreting the large volume of data that the Census Bureau publishes. Data products released by the Census Bureau often include a variety of reference and thematic maps. These products include both printed reports and online or digital data releases. While many of these products include U.S. data collected by the Census Bureau, the agency also creates a variety of international products, often using data from other national statistical agencies. This presentation will highlight some of the Census Bureau’s recent thematic map products for both U.S. and international data.

Data Through Design
Presenter: Jeff Ferzoco (CARTO)
Copresenters: Jessie Braden (Pratt SAVI), Michelle Ho (CARTO), Eve Ahearn (Enigma), , Wenfei Xu, CARTO
The goal of the Data Through Design project, created for New York City’s Open Data Week, was to attract a broader audience and foster engagement with the City’s open data through physical representation. We commissioned three-dimensional artworks that incorporated open data to pose thoughtful questions about city life. Such issues were, for instance, the power of crime to accumulate and entangle neighborhoods, the connection between traffic fatalities and built environment, and the demographic distribution of death. This project was the first of its kind for the city’s annual Open Data Week and attracted a new audience of designers and artists.

HERE and Back Again: Developing For the Cartographer
Presenter: Katie Kowalsky, HERE
A wise grey wizard once said, "The world isn't in your books and maps; It's out there". Whether hobbit or elf, cartographer or novice, we all try our best to follow Gandalf's advice and use our experiences to better shape our own work. Our adventures inform us and alter us; creating new stories to tell. I'll be walking through a harrowing tale of tackling user stories, navigating open source software licenses, and rescuing user centered design to develop a new product for HERE.

The data scientist open source cartography toolbox
Presenter: Francois Dion, Dion Research LLC
Statistics and Cartography have long been closely tied, thanks to the likes of Joseph Minard, Willard Brinton, Calvin Schmid and Jacques Bertin, to name a few. As Computer Science joined Cartography and Statistics to the Data Science party, many software solutions emerged. Fortunately, the trends in the past decade has been toward open source. Extending the author's "Hitchhiker's guide to the open source data science galaxy", this presentation will cover the Python open source Cartography ecosystem, as used in Data Science.


Darryl Cohen

U.S. Census Bureau

Francois Dion

Dion Research LLC

Thursday October 18, 2018 9:00am - 10:20am EDT
Hampton II-III

9:00am EDT

Maritime Cartography
Placing marine cartography front and center
Presenter: Shachak Peeri, NOAA - Marine Chart Division
Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are complementing sciences that merge map design concepts with the study of geometric properties and spatial relations. As NOAA transitions from raster-based paper chart production to vector-based electronic navigational charts and precision navigation, it is important to retain traditional concepts and best practices. This paper presents NOAA’s efforts to retain cartographic capacity within its ranks. Recently, the International Board on Standards and Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers recognized and approved Coast Survey’s new certification program in cartography. Also, NOAA personnel are becoming more active in national and international cartographic working groups and commissions.

Analyzing cartographic information to improve nautical chart coverage 
Presenter: Colby Harmon, NOAA - Marine Chart Division
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is undertaking a program to enhance and standardize its suite of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC). ENCs, used by professional mariners and recreational boaters alike, were digitized in the 1990s from paper nautical charts having a variety of shapes, sizes and scales. A new scheme with a standardized, gridded layout has been proposed, based on criteria, such as existing U.S. and Canadian ENC coverage, the size of ports and positions port entry features, and vessel traffic volume. This presentation describes the criteria and the analytical methods used to create and validate the new scheme.

Future of Cartography: Deriving Raster Products using Vector Data
Presenter: Christie Ence, NOAA - Marine Chart Division
Nautical charts are an essential tool for marine navigation. Despite introduction of global positioning systems (GPS) and electronic navigational tools that present navigation data in a vector format on a display, paper charts are still the preferable choice for many mariners. With NOAA’s new plan to "standardized, consistent gridded framework" that is optimized for digital displays, the question is what is the future of paper charts?  In order to allow a raster-based maintenance system, it is now possible to translate encoding attributes of vector objects into standardized chart symbols and labels. Thus, simplifying workflow processes for paper and raster chart production.

Historical Perspective on Marine Cartography in the Last Days of Pen and Ink 
Presenter: John Macek, NOAA - Marine Chart Division
Historical Perspective on Marine Cartography examines the process by which nautical cartographers in the Marine Chart Division of the Office of Coast Survey updated their suite of products during the last decade of the 20th Century. The era was one of dynamic change, as advances in automation pushed desktop computing into the limelight, and the age of pen and ink on mylar faded away, eventually being supplanted by the development of the raster nautical chart. The lecture will also touch on the tasks performed by the various branches in the division, and address the fact that even though the cartographic tools changed, the cartographic rules remained the same.


Christie Ence

NOAA - Marine Chart Division

Colby Harmon

NOAA - Marine Chart Division

John Macek

NOAA - Marine Chart Division

Shachak Peeri

NOAA - Marine Chart Division

Thursday October 18, 2018 9:00am - 10:20am EDT
Hampton I

10:40am EDT

Art Inspired and Hand Drawn Cartography
Cartographic Pleasures
Presenter: Travis White, University of Kansas
Joy Division’s 1979 album Unknown Pleasures features one of the most recognizable data visualizations in popular culture. Designed by Peter Saville, the artwork has been subjected to countless knock-offs and derivatives. It also inspired a tutorial I wrote for my cartography students to teach them how to make “transect maps” using profile graphs of elevation data. This presentation explores the original art, the classroom exercise it inspired, the recent viral popularity of “ridgeline plots,” and my continuing attempts to map with the form without crossing that delicate line separating inspiration from mimicry.

The North American Continent: A Pictorial Map
Presenter: Anton Thomas, Anton Thomas Art
In 2014 I began drawing a pictorial map of North America by hand and, four years on, it is finally complete. With thousands of features, including 600 individualized cityscapes, it has been an odyssey beyond anything I envisioned. Inspired by the majesty of Earth’s third-largest continent, this map attempts to merge art with informative cartography. By utilizing the strengths of either discipline I hope to tell a geographic story that engages a wide audience. In this presentation we will follow up on the progress since last year, while journeying across a pictorial map of epic proportions: The North American Continent.

Hand-drawn Plausible Fictitious Maps
Presenter: David Nuttall
How my fictional map art has turned into an artistic business (Artimaps). I was trained as a cartographer by the British Government and have always worked in mapping and GIS in England and now Alabama. However, I have been hand drawing fictional maps since the age of five and in this session I will explore my fictional map drawing and how it has impacted my professional life. I will look at now my fictional cartography has progressed in detail and also variety of styles and mediums and how I became a professional artist creating real maps of fake places.

A Material World
Presenter: John Nelson, esri
The engaging aesthetic of a hand-drawn map has the tendency to stir memories of fantasy books and conjure a sense of adventure. I’ll share simple methods and resources to easily produce digital versions of these wonders in your own maps. Impossibly perfect vector paths and solid fills? Pshaw, break out the crayons! In addition to the general benefits of oh-that’s-interesting-ification, I’ll help you rationalize to your boss or customer why yellowed parchment and ink create a tangible-ish environment where your map can really communicate. Computers don’t make maps, people do!

avatar for John Nelson

John Nelson

cartographer, Esri
I make maps and work on things to help other people make maps then I talk and write about those things.
avatar for David Nuttall

David Nuttall

Artist & Mapping Consultant, Artimaps
David is a artist, cartographer and mapping professional with over 40 years of experience. David creates hand-drawn plausible fictitious maps, as cartographic art. He is also an independent consultant for public safety/911 mapping, training and support. David was trained by the British... Read More →
avatar for Anton Thomas

Anton Thomas

Artist Cartographer, Anton Thomas Art
avatar for Travis White

Travis White

Kansas City

Thursday October 18, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton II-III

10:40am EDT

Cartographic Research I
Vivid Persuasion in Maps
Presenter: Carolyn Fish, University of Oregon
Vividness is described in the psychology literature as content that is “likely to attract and hold attention and to excite the imagination to the extent that it is (a) emotionally interesting, (b) concrete and imagery-provoking, and (c) proximate in a sensory, temporal, or spatial way” (Nisbett and Ross, 1980, 44). Despite other research which has made efforts to identify persuasive maps, the terms vividness has never been connected with cartographic design. This research presents on a survey which was conducted using Amazon Mechanical Turk and Qualtrics to identify the extent to which maps which are designed to persuade are vivid.

Cartographic Considerations of Mapping Global Variations in Avian Eggshell Colors
Presenter: Phillip Wisocki, Long Island University
Copresenters: Patrick Kennelly1, Indira Rojas1, Phillip Cassey2, Daniel Hanley1; 1Long Island University; 2University of Adelaide
Avian eggshell colors varies based on biliverdin and protoporphyrin, pigments resulting in blue-green and brown colors respectively. The former is thought to filter ultraviolet radiation more effectively while the latter is likely to be darker and more effective at absorbing thermal energy. These colors correlate to latitude, and offer opportunities to use customized color palettes to map their global distribution. Some of the cartographic considerations in this research are approximating global distributions of egg color, accounting for the phylogenetic diversity and nesting types of birds, and utilizing a color model that accounts for how birds perceive colors.

Making Happy(er) Maps: Leveraging Affective Color Congruence in Thematic Map Design
Presenter: Cary Anderson, Pennsylvania State University
Maps of emotionally-laden topics are prominent in the media, from negative maps of gun violence to those depicting geographic trends of happiness. Despite the often emotive content of thematic maps, cartographic color guidelines still focus on kind of data (e.g., sequential; qualitative), and visual perception constraints. Yet colors—like data topics—have emotive connotations. Here, we report the results of a user study to assess the impact of affectively congruent colors—colors that share emotive qualities with the data they encode. Results demonstrate multiple impacts of affective congruence on map interpretation, including significant amplification of map-topic emotions.

Cultural Mapping: A Review of Cartographic Methods 
Presenter: John Kostelnick, Illinois State University
Maps that characterize as language, ethnicity, and religion serve a range of diverse purposes for audiences including social scientists, government agencies, and the public. Aside from their societal significance, thematic maps that visualize ethnicity, language, and religion are prone to several cartographic design challenges given the complexities associated with human culture. In this presentation, I identify key challenges specific to cultural maps through a review of existing thematic maps found in prominent map holdings (e.g., Library of Congress), with a focus on contemporary national atlas and government agency maps. Prospects for improved methods for cultural mapping are also offered.


Amy Griffin

RMIT University


Cary Anderson

Pennsylvania State University
avatar for Carolyn Fish

Carolyn Fish

Assistant Professor, University of Oregon

John Kostelnick

Illinois State University

Phillip Wisocki

Long Island University

Thursday October 18, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton I

10:40am EDT

Extreme Mapmaking
Extreme Mapmaking (part 1/2): Cities and Spies
Presenter: Greg Miller, All Over the Map / National Geographic
This talk (part one of two) will examine two examples from the forthcoming book All Over the Map (National Geographic, 2018). Kowloon Walled City was the densest human settlement that ever existed. This maze-like complex of 14-story buildings in Hong Kong housed tens of thousands of people and its own economy–some of it legitimate, some not. Hitomi Terasawa’s illustrated map captures life inside. During the Cold War the Soviet military secretly mapped the entire world. Soviet city maps note details like the dimensions and load-bearing capacity of bridges–things that would be difficult to know without eyes on the ground.

Extreme Mapmaking (part 2/2): Battlefields and Imaginary Worlds
Presenter: Betsy Mason, All Over the Map / National Geographic
This talk (part two of two) will examine two examples from the forthcoming book All Over the Map (National Geographic, 2018). During WWII, the Allies ran a secret operation to create 3D battlefield models to plan and prepare for key offensives. The scale models were as true-to-life as possible, down to heights of hedgerows and colors of houses, and are credited with saving countless lives. Artist Jerry Gretzinger has spent 35 years mapping an elaborate imaginary world. Jerry’s map is now over 55 feet across and continually evolving based on a deck of mysterious cards that guide his work.

Persistence Cave Project
Presenter: David Lambert, NPS Volunteer
Camels, rattlesnakes, and an angry bison? Find out what these things have in common and a whole lot more, as I discuss my recent cave mapping adventure.

Mapping Middle-earth: Questing for “real facts” in a fictitious world
Presenter: Erik Mueller-Harder, independent scholar
Though most fantasy authors heed Tolkien’s advice to start “with a map, and [make] the story fit,” Tolkien did not — resulting in (predicted) “confusions and impossibilities.” See the perils of making maps where descriptions are data; characters’ conflicting accounts are primary sources; “impressionistic” contour lines are DEMs; and even the author’s conceptions of his world change over time. Forensic mapmakers must beware the lures of conjecture and imagination. For even with databases, map normalization, and vector-based software (all demonstrated!), making Tolkien’s envisioned map of Middle-earth is a quest for the bold. [No familiarity with Tolkien’s works is assumed.]


David Lambert

National Geographic Partners; NPS Volunteer
avatar for Betsy Mason

Betsy Mason

Journalist, All Over the Map / National Geographic

Greg Miller

All Over the Map / National Geographic
avatar for Erik Mueller-Harder

Erik Mueller-Harder

Media-terrestrial mapmaker, independent scholar
The works of J.R.R. Tolkien, classical music, espresso, linguistics, keyboards (for typing), Macintosh (the Apple computer), cider-making (with lower-case apples),…

Thursday October 18, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII

2:00pm EDT

Cartographic Education
A love letter to cartography.
Presenter: Kenneth Field, Esri / ICA
Dear cartography, I’ve been busy writing love letters to you: a book and a course to educate, and for others to share my passion. I'm going to lift the covers to reveal the process of sharing that love. I’ll tell everyone what you mean to me: my deepest thoughts; the trials and tribulations, and the often fraught relationship I’ve had with you, My feelings are expressed in every page and every map. Please remember how much I love you. I loved you the minute our scribe coat first met. Ken

Re-imagining the Cartography Textbook
Presenter: Brandon Plewe, Brigham Young University
It is clear that Cartography Education is about to change, along with the rest of the University. The rise of online courses and the impending demise of the textbook industry are just two of the trends that we can either resist or lead. In a future cartography course, what role will learning materials play, and how can we rethink the form, content, and business model of textbooks to take advantage of the future landscape to help students learn cartography better?

Creating Space to Create: Teaching technologies you don’t know
Presenter: Ashley Nepp, Macalester College
As a practitioner it is difficult to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of web-mapping platforms, programming languages, and data visualization tools. As an educator, there are even more challenges when teaching new technologies; it can be overwhelming to try to learn them all, or choose which one(s) to use in your course. Macalester College is a small liberal-arts school, where students have vastly different skill and comfort levels with technology, and a strong desire to tailor course projects to their interests. A one-size-fits-all approach often limits the creativity and learning potential of our students.

Making cartography education practical in the GIS&T Body of Knowledge
Presenter: Jeff Howarth, Middlebury College
This presentation describes the Cartography and Education contribution to the GIS&T Body of Knowledge. The main objectives are to outline instructional dilemmas that educators may encounter at different levels of instructional design and to describe different practical strategies for solving these problems. General methods for encouraging active learning in lectures and problem-based learning in labs are also illustrated with examples, including content from the GIS&T Body of Knowledge. The presentation aims to encourage conversations between academics and practitioners about instructional design strategies for teaching cartographic principles through cartographic practice.

Aesthetics and Design in the GIS&T Body of Knowledge
Presenter: Chelsea Nestel, UW - Madison
What is aesthetics? What is design? And how do we "do" them? Teaching students how to develop skills in design and aesthetics is a critical part of cartography education. This talk summarizes the approaches advocated by a spectrum of cartographers in the field to help educators and students structure their opinions on design and aesthetics, as well as to explore the core of our thinking on this topic. The talk will conclude with a series of proposed learning objectives and bibliography on the topic.

avatar for Kenneth Field

Kenneth Field

Professional cartonerd, Esri Inc
Cartonerd. Ex-academic. Teaches. Talks. Makes. Presents. Publishes. Blogs. Tweets. Journals. Book (Cartography.). MOOC. Kitchen tiles. Snowboards. Drums. Beer. Nottingham Forest. Has a life too.

Jeff Howarth

Middlebury College

Ashley Nepp

Macalester College

Chelsea Nestel

UW - Madison

Brandon Plewe

Brigham Young University
avatar for Anthony Robinson

Anthony Robinson

Assistant Professor and Director of Online Geospatial Education, Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University
I direct Penn State's Online Geospatial Education programs and serve as an Assistant Director in the Department of Geography's GeoVISTA Center. On nights and weekends I'm Vice President of NACIS and Chair of the ICA Commission on Visual Analytics.

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton I

2:00pm EDT

Historical Cartography of the Mid-Atlantic
Forward march! Mapping the American Civil War 150 years later
Presenter: Ben Myers
What does it take to make a map of an event that occurred a century and a half ago? And how can that add to our understanding of the past? Drawing from original, hand-written documents, period maps, and photographs, we'll use modern mapping techniques to retrace the footsteps of a regiment of soldiers who marched almost 1,500 miles through Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Resurrecting Heritage Sites: Bringing Virginia’s Past to Life through Augmented and Virtual Realities
Presenter: Alisa Pettitt, George Mason University
Copresenter: Sven Fuhrmann George Mason University
Augmented and virtual technologies provide powerful opportunities for altering how we understand and experience our surroundings. In particular, these tools can be harnessed by archaeologists, historians, and other cultural heritage practitioners in crafting narratives that bring the past to life through exciting and innovative perspectives. This research explores the creation of AR and VR applications for the interpretation of several archaeological sites in Virginia. Through the incorporation of different data types, available technologies, and collaboration with regional experts and descendants connected to these histories, this research explores the development of customizable AR and VR applications for Virginia's heritage sites.

The Historical Working Cartography of Chesapeake Bay
Presenter: John Cloud, Anthropology Dept., National Museum of Natural History
"Maps are made to be looked at; charts are made to be worked on". This presentation focuses on an array of historical charts of Chesapeake Bay or sections of it, from the 18th to 21st centuries, that will illuminate the bay and its environs, and the peoples who have worked it, via piloting and trade, agriculture, several revolutionary wars, the battles to end slavery, and the tangled trajectories of humans intersecting a great mass of oysters. The presentation could be paired in a session to presentations on the bay and accelerating sea level rise and consequences.

What is in a Name in Virginia?
Presenter: Cassandra Farrell, Library of Virginia
This presentation will review the more “unusual” place names of features in Virginia listed in GNIS. Names in Virginia range from the strange to the historic, and the historic name is not always obviously "historic". This presentation will take a look at names that have a “background” in Virginia history, and that may be anecdotal at best.

The mysteries of history that cartography can help solve
Presenter: Gene Thorp, U.S Department of State
The speaker will discuss his personal project to both build a georeferenced database of the mid-Atlantic region as it existed during the American Civil War, and to organize and plot the historical data that can be joined to it. Examining some of the base map sources used in the project, this presentation will look into the challenges posed in georectifying historical maps for digitization, and explore ways to resolve issues of contradictory cartographic data. We’ll explore how America’s physical geography has changed since 1861 and delve into what new history can be gleaned by marrying the database with historic events.


John Cloud

Anthropology Dept., National Museum of Natural History

Cassandra Farrell

Library of Virginia
avatar for Ben Myers

Ben Myers

UX Designer, Alley Interactive
Historic mapping, data visualization, American Civil War

Alisa Pettitt

George Mason University

Gene Thorp

U.S Department of State

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton II-III

2:00pm EDT

Web and Mobile Mapping I
Indoor Mapping: Applying Cartographic Principles at Scale
Presenter: Mike Foster, Apple, Inc.
With the release of iOS 11, Apple introduced indoor maps into Apple Maps. Indoor maps provide detailed floor plans of major airports and shopping malls around the world, allowing users to find their way around popular indoor places. This feature added hundreds of thousands of data points to the map, and presented numerous cartographic display challenges. This presentation will discuss how the Apple Maps Cartography team applied an algorithmic simplification method to curate indoor details at each zoom level, and will emphasize the importance of retaining an element of hand curation to ensure a beautiful and intuitive experience for our users.

CARTO VL: The next chapter of thematic web cartography
Presenter: Mamata Akella, CARTO
In traditional cartography, we would not say that a reference and thematic map are equal. In web cartography, reference (basemaps) and thematic maps (data layer) have become synonymous with one another both relying on a handful of styling languages and technologies to produce. This talk will demonstrate why basemap technology is not well-suited for the data layer and introduce CARTO VL, a Javascript library for vector-based visualizations. I will demonstrate how CARTO VL’s styling language has been designed specifically for cartography of the data layer and how you can take advantage of it to produce truly multi-scale thematic maps.

There and Back Again: Cartographic Journeys with Adobe CC, Mobile Mapping and Navigation
Presenter: Nick Burchell, Avenza Systems Inc.
This presentation will provide a series of case studies on how maps created with the Avenza suite of tools are being used to solve tangible needs in the industries we serve. Come see how our customers are creating high quality, spatially aware cartographic products through MAPublisher with Geographic Imager in Adobe CC, and how they are using them for critical work in conjunction with the Avenza Maps app. I'll also review some of the exciting new features in our products this year, and how you have helped us make them a reality.

Adapting to a Monetized Google Maps API
Presenter: Michael Peterson, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Copresenters: Paul Hunt, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Madison Woodrum, University of Nebraska at Omaha
The Google Maps Application Programmer Interface (API) remains the most popular resource for mapping. More than 4.6 billion websites embed a Google Map. Google maps have become so popular that most map users avoid using any other kind of map. In April 2018, Google announced the launch of a new name - Google Maps Platform - and a new pricing plan. A free tier continues to be offered but requires creating an account and entering a credit card. Addressed here is how these changes affect online mapping, and how the Google Maps API can continue to be used for free.

Atlas Apps for Online Map Collections
Presenter: Aileen Buckley, Esri
Today’s expectations for atlases are different from what they were ten or even five years ago. Maps are now expected to be freely available online and accessible via easy-to-use and interactive web apps. Maps in atlases are no different. However, sharing atlas maps online is complicated by the need to provide the maps as a complete and coherent collection in a clear and comprehensible app that provides quick access to the content. Few efforts have been exerted to develop common workflows and off-the-shelf resources that can be used by many who want to share their own collections.

avatar for Nick Martinelli

Nick Martinelli

Developer/Cartographer, Apple

avatar for Nick Burchell

Nick Burchell

Director, QA & Customer Services, Avenza

Mike Foster

Apple, Inc.

Michael Peterson

University of Nebraska Omaha

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII

4:00pm EDT

Cartographic Design II
North is a societal construct: when to break the rules with your map
Presenter: Laris Karklis, Washington Post
Copresenters: Lauren Tierney, Washington Post; Tim Meko, Washington Post
We use maps to navigate, inform and tell stories. Sometimes, the cartographic principles we learned in grade school should be pushed aside in favor of a presentation that guides our audience's understanding of a story. Whether it's following the path of a natural event like the 2017 eclipse, mapping a watershed or when limited by the layout of your design medium, sometimes we opt for a non-north-up presentation. This session will deconstruct examples of Washington Post maps that break the north-up rule and explain the reasoning for deviating from the norms.

How Far is a Sandwich? Cartographic Representations of Linear Distance
Presenter: Victoria Johnson
Why do we use miles or kilometers on maps instead of submarine sandwich lengths? This presentation will take a bite out of how to cartographically represent distance and scale. We'll explore many delicious ways of mapping for linear distance, focusing on the presenter’s own experience developing a series of hoagie-centric maps. Come hungry for knowledge, leave satisfied in making maps more appealing to all comers.

Mapping U.S. small towns: challenges and solutions
Presenter: Jennifer Mapes, Kent State University
Small towns are too often grouped together with rural areas, obfuscating their more urban characteristics: this can be seen in both academic research and popular press narratives. Maps offer an opportunity to either repeat this mistake or provide an opportunity to correct it. In this presentation, I will discuss some of the challenges created by conventional cartographic representations of demographic data at national and state scales. I will go on to illustrate some alternatives that help to highlight the nuances of spatial patterns in areas outside of large cities.

Feminist Icon Design
Presenter: Meghan Kelly, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Feminist mapmaking offers exciting and alternative avenues to explore data, map form, and cartographic process. But where do we even begin? My work aims to bring feminism to mapping practice through icon design, an accessible entry point for novice and experienced cartographers. I conducted mapping workshops at Maptime Amsterdam and UW—Madison where I introduced a feminist cartographic framework before asking participants to redesign Maki icons with this framework in mind. Here, I review the workshops, the feminist mapping framework, and the resulting feminist icon designs to demonstrate the value of feminist perspectives in icon design and cartography, more broadly.


Fritz Kessler

The Pennsylvania State University


Laris Karklis

Washington Post
avatar for Meghan Kelly

Meghan Kelly

PhD student and freelancer, UW-Madison

Jennifer Mapes

Kent State University

Thursday October 18, 2018 4:00pm - 5:20pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII

4:00pm EDT

Cartographic Theory I
What we call ourselves and the maps we make. Or, is critical cartography real?
Presenter: Jim Thatcher, University of Washington Tacoma
Cartography has developed a host of sub-fields meant to demarcate something about the act of map-making. Critical, feminist, web, analytical, and other terms each signal a specific set of epistemological commitments. While these commitments play out in critique and topical focus, it is less clear to what degree map-making practice differs. This talk presents a visual-analytic survey of actually-existing maps created by self-identified critical, analytical, and web cartographers. It does not make the argument that all maps are the same, rather it demonstrates underlying similarities in map making practices. It suggests spaces of shared ontological ground and opportunities for collaborations.

...And how does that work?
Presenter: Mark Denil, sui generis
Demosthenes said the prime considerations in human communication were: 1.delivery; 2.delivery; 3.delivery. For over twenty years the speaker has been saying the same thing about maps. Maps stand between proposed facts and accepted truths, and are, often, the only way of getting from the one to the other. Still, many people see the investigation of theory as frivolus: What advantages accrue from thinking about how and why? This talk will center upon a rationale for careful and un-dogmatic scrutiny of cartographic theory by exploring how the speaker came to the study, and of the value of sound theory to practice.

Affective Mapping: Designing for Behavior Change
Presenter: Brandyn Friedly,
Humans are not rational beings. Cognitive psychology and neuroscience show that people's decisions and worldview stem from emotion. The potential of maps to shape place-based narratives on global and local scales is profound. In this talk, I will introduce research on behavioral change used in political science and connect it to the visual language of design and cartography to suggest ways we can design maps for positive change.

Advancing Cartography by Embracing the Spatial Voice of the Untrained Mapper
Presenter: Sarah Bell, Esri
Every person’s livelihood is impacted by the space in which they exist, but few of us have been formally trained in spatial communication. Yet artists, students, scientists, activists, and many more untrained mappers are lending their spatial voices to the world via map-making. Rather than hoard the power of spatial communication, we cartographers can foster an open atmosphere for all spatial visualists. This talk presents a conversation on enriching the field of cartography by embracing and learning from the untrained mapper. Applying socio-spatial theory and semiotics, this discussion uses real-world examples to explore what we cartographers can gain from novices.


Donna Genzmer

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

avatar for Sarah Bell

Sarah Bell

Cartographer & Data Visualization, Esri
Cartography, data visualization, rock climbing.
avatar for Mark Denil

Mark Denil

sui generis

Jim Thatcher

University of Washington Tacoma

Thursday October 18, 2018 4:00pm - 5:20pm EDT
Hampton I

4:00pm EDT

Reflections on the Atlas
Wild Migrations: An Atlas for Conservation Advocacy
Presenter: James E Meacham, InfoGraphics Lab, University of Oregon
Copresenters: Alethea Steingisser, InfoGraphics Lab, University of Oregon; Joanna Merson, InfoGraphics Lab, University of Oregon
This presentation covers a multi-carto approach to support conservation goals. UO cartographers worked intensely with Wyoming Migration Initiative biologists to tell the stories of Wyoming’s big game migrations. These stories included newly discovered insights about animal behavior, threats they face, and conservation opportunities. Cartography was central in these efforts. Maps supported outreach in news and social media, reports, films, animations, and ultimately a 200-page comprehensive atlas. This year, US Secretary of the Interior signed Secretarial Order 3362 charging DOI agencies to accelerate mapping and management of corridors in the West protecting habitat and migration corridors. Maps matter!

The academically, administratively, all-around accessible atlas
Presenter: Andy Woodruff, Axis Maps
Creating a web-based, interactive, university-level thematic world atlas for a major educational publisher means designing and building something rich in content and functionality, yet broadly useful to students, instructors, and administrators. From a two-year experience, we’ll share design and technical lessons in balancing those goals to make a web atlas "accessible" in several senses of the word: physically, usable by people with visual or motor impairments; technologically, responsive and useful on all modern devices and screen sizes; educationally, promoting exploratory geographic and cartographic learning without confusing concepts or user interfaces; and administratively, easy for the publisher to configure and update.

Reflections of Empire: British Atlases from the Imperial Century
Presenter: Jenny Marie Johnson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The British Imperial Century, often defined as the period between the 1815 Treaty of Vienna ending the Napoleonic Wars and the 1914 beginning of the First World War, was a period of exploration, economic growth, expansion of geopolitical influences, cultural exchange, and technological changes. Cartographic and textual content of British world atlases produced during and slightly before and after this period can be examined to find expressions of imperialism as Great Britain’s imperial focus shifted from being primarily on North America and India (the First Empire), to being a nearly unchallenged global power, and lastly to initial stages of dismantlment.

Behind the Scenes of the Atlas of Design, Volume 4
Presenter: Alethea Steingisser, Atlas of Design Editorial Team
Copresenters: Lauren Tierney and Caroline Rose, Atlas of Design Editorial Team
Join the editors of the Atlas of Design on a behind-the-scenes journey through Volume 4! Since the publication of Volume I of the Atlas of Design in 2012, the publication has grown; Volume 4 received more than 300 entries, including an increase in international submissions. We will take a look at the editorial process of creating the atlas, a breakdown of the different categories of maps that were submitted, and invite discussion about the atlas.


Jenny Marie Johnson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

James E Meacham

InfoGraphics Lab, University of Oregon

Alethea Steingisser

Atlas of Design Editorial Team

Andy Woodruff

Axis Maps

Thursday October 18, 2018 4:00pm - 5:20pm EDT
Hampton II-III
Friday, October 19

9:00am EDT

Cartographic Design III
Complementary Cartography: Analyzing National Geographic maps that play a supporting role
Presenter: Clare Trainor, National Geographic
Copresenter: Riley D. Champine, National Geographic
National Geographic Magazine frequently publishes beautiful scientific illustrations—from depictions of animal species to diagrams of architecture. For these art focused pieces, maps play a smaller role of providing spatial context and indicating geographic trends. In the most recent era of National Geographic, great care and effort is taken to seamlessly blend maps into artwork. This is an intentional and challenging process. In this presentation, we will highlight examples of maps harmonizing with illustration and contrast these with earlier pieces that do not. We hope to demonstrate how cartographers work with illustrators to create maps that successfully complement art.

Hot or Not? The challenges of heat map creation and interpretation
Presenter: Daniel Strebe, Tableau Software
Copresenters: Sarah Battersby, Tableau Software; Sara Fabrikant, University of Zurich
You get goosebumps about heat maps? We will ruin heat maps for you, just like we ruined hex bins a few years back. Suck it up, but don’t sweat it. Good mapping isn’t easy! Sometimes learning about the horrible things you did in pretty maps burns. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the map kitchen. But, we’re here for you. We won’t mock you. We’ll just point out the bad assumptions you might have made along the way. And, by the way, the earth isn’t flat. And, yes, rainbows can be useful, but not often.

Branding and Cartography
Presenter: Vanessa Knoppke-Wetzel
Branding is a strategic and valuable part of marketing for any organization - and visually branding graphics with a specific, set range of color choices and typefaces is an important part of any branding strategy. However, these defined colors are often not ideal for most map visualizations.The past three years, I’ve spent a lot of time defining and implementing what I think is ideal for the branding of map aesthetics for two organizations, and as such, I will share what I have learned and spread the word about BREAKING THE RULES when it comes to maps.

Conservation Cartography: Putting Maps to Work for Endangered Species
Presenter: Kevin McManigal, University of Montana, Franke College of Forestry and Conservation
The UM Laboratory for Conservation Cartography is designing cartographic products with NGO’s working to defend endangered species. To date, we have created 1:25,000 topographic maps covering four wildlife reserves. However, the production barriers of time and cost have led to refined models that more rapidly serve the urgent needs on the ground. Our ruggedized digital devices give conservation staff access to satellite imagery and topography data in an “unconnected” environment, allowing rangers to build geospatial data in the field. The maps are making a difference, and the closing success stories prove we can preserve the last of these iconic species.


Rosemary Wardley

National Geographic

avatar for Kevin McManigal

Kevin McManigal

Lecturer in GIS and Cartography, University of Montana, Franke College of Forestry and Conservation
I was born, played hard, and ......... the end remains to be written.

Daniel Strebe

Tableau Software

Clare Trainor

National Geographic

Friday October 19, 2018 9:00am - 10:20am EDT
Hampton VI-VII

9:00am EDT

Lightning Talks
All talks in this session are 10 minutes each.

GeoVisualization Methods in Spatial History 
Presenter: Nil Tuzcu, Harvard University
This presentation will focus on the making process of the web mapping project - "Istanbul Urban Database (IUDB)". The project is an interactive online mapping platform that blends a wide range of historical data including maps, master plans, photos, and transportation routes, allowing users to explore and interact with spatio-temporal layers of Istanbul's past. I will introduce the emerging web-based spatial technologies and historical GIS that are currently used for spatial history projects as well as discuss how the IUDB situates in the broader digital humanities theoretical ground.

Cartographic Education at the Department of Geomatics (University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czechia)
Presenter: Otakar Čerba , University of West Bohemia
This presentation introduces a general conception of cartographic education provided by the Department of Geomatics (University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czechia). This conception follows from mathematical cartography (as exact backgrounds of cartography) through the creation of various types of maps (supporting of cartographic production and creativity) to web applications dealing with maps. The particular classes are realized by the traditional approach (lectures and seminars), but it is strongly supported by methods and tools following constructivism and other advanced pedagogical schools. The gained cartographic knowledge and skills are applied in students' final thesis as well as international research projects.

A Brief History of Nonprofit Mapping at GreenInfo Network
Presenter: Tim Sinnott, GreenInfo Network
Since our founding in 1996, GreenInfo Network has assisted over 1,000 public interest groups and agencies with mapping, data, analysis and other information technology projects. We work with 80-100 public interest clients annually throughout the US and internationally. Join us to rediscover the history of GreenInfo's mapping efforts from humble beginnings to modern cartographic applications.

From Cartographic Contrast Design to Neuro-geographical Contrast Cognition
Presenter: P. William Limpisathian, University of Oregon
As cartographers, we contend that visual contrast is crucial to establishing perceptual differences that allows the reader to distinguish features on a map. Yet the central task of determining the most optimal configuration of visual contrast continues to seemingly elude us. Additionally, much of the theoretical underpin of our understanding of cartographic visual contrast stems from Gestalt psychology dating back to the 1920s. With the advancement of neuropsychology, classical psychological theories are increasingly being reexamined under new experimental light. Thus, this presentation will briefly reexamine the literature on cartographic visual contrast and frame it against related research from neuroscience.

Cities, towns, villages, boroughs: populated places through scale
Presenter: Elaine Guidero, U.S. Geological Survey
Copresenters: Lindsay Decker, Maria McCormick; U.S. Geological Survey
Ongoing research at the U.S. Geological Survey into modifying data for multi-scale mapping has resulted in the creation of an attribute called VisibilityFilter (VF). Populated places in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) seem suited to a straightforward application of VF using population. However, this process is not as simple as it might appear. Populated places have a complicated categorization, and filtering on population alone leaves overly dense urban areas and blank rural areas. VF for GNIS populated places involves working with the different populated place categories and leveraging information from other datasets to eliminate under- and over-crowding through scale.

English-to-Chinese Map Label Conversion: 1 Year In
Presenter: John Sylak-Glassman, Mapbox
While dynamic digital maps commonly offer English labels for most of the world, such a complete map label layer is lacking for most other languages. Over the past year, we've built a system to automatically convert English map labels into Chinese using deep learning and natural language processing (NLP) with humans in the loop. This talk presents our experiences and the progress we've made. We discuss variability in judgments of what constitutes a correct map label, unique aspects of using deep learning language technology for cartography, and the advantages of working with a modular system that incorporates human judgment.

Accessing and visualizing geoscience data from many sources in the Flyover Country mobile app
Presenter: Shane Loeffler, University of Minnesota
The Flyover country mobile app is a tool for answering the question of 'what's that?' when looking out of the airplane window from 30,000 feet, while on a road trip or hike, or when a scientist is assessing a new field area. To do this, many sources of information have had to be integrated, presenting many challenges both in visualization and data compatibility.  Here we present challenges and solutions for accessing and visualizing content from a wide variety of geoscience sources.

Connecting People with the Arctic Refuge
Presenter: Marty Schnure, The Wilderness Society
We only save what we love, and we only love what we know. How can we make maps that help someone come to know and love a place, and inspire them to help protect it? How about a faraway place they’ve never been to and will likely never visit? Marty Schnure has been trying to figure this out for a while, most recently in her work to defend the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil development. In this lightning talk she will share a series of maps she has made to try to connect people with this wild, threatened place.


Donna Genzmer

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Elaine Guidero

U.S. Geological Survey
avatar for Bill Limpisathian

Bill Limpisathian

Student Board Member, NACIS
I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon Department of Geography working with Dr. Amy Lobben. My research interest is in visual contrast in maps and cognition of cartographic representation. My M.S. thesis at Penn State with Dr. Cindy Brewer studied the perception of visual... Read More →

Shane Loeffler

University of Minnesota

Marty Schnure

The Wilderness Society

Tim Sinnott

GreenInfo Network

Nil Tuzcu

Harvard University

Otakar Čerba

University of West Bohemia

Friday October 19, 2018 9:00am - 10:20am EDT
Hampton I

10:40am EDT

Cartographic Research II
Monitoring Urban Transit Networks: Map use in transit control centers  (10 minutes)
Presenter: Emily Domanico, The Pennsylvania State Univeristy
In public transit networks, Control Centers are sites where information comes together and is monitored and assessed. In these environments, maps and diagrams play a central role in the work done to coordinate movements. We presented results from observation and interview fieldwork that aims to understand dynamic cartography in situ, in transit control centers. Further, our work explores the technology of digital maps, their use, and the communities of people who work collectively with dynamic maps to monitor rail transit in real time.

Viral Cartography: Or, how to make an affective map 
Presenter: Jerry Shannon, University of Georgia
Copresenter: Kyle Walker, Texas Christian University
Our paper focuses on viral maps, ones that gain widespread traction in social and news media. We focus on two case studies from our own experience: one based on an interactive dot map showing educational attainment and the other a map of the 2017 solar eclipse and Waffle House locations. We argue that the affective nature of these maps played a key role in their popularity, meaning that the emotional response generated by each map fueled public interest. Our paper suggests a taxonomy for describing the emotional registers of viral maps and considers the implications for publicly engaged cartography.

The Ballot Box and Sunsquatch: Elements of Viral Cartography
Presenter: Anthony Robinson, The Pennsylvania State University
Making and sharing maps is easier than ever, and social media makes it possible for maps to attain widespread visibility and engagement to become examples of viral cartography. In this talk we present a framework for evaluating the design and dissemination of viral maps. We apply this framework in two case studies of maps that reached wide audiences on Twitter (2016 US Election & the 2017 Solar Eclipse), and we explore collections of maps generated in response to viral maps using image analysis and machine learning techniques.

Designing a Map-Centric Interface to Improve Geospatial Analytics
Presenter: Ryan Mullins,
Copresenters: Ben Nargi, Aptima Inc.; Patrick Cummings, Ph.D., Aptima Inc.
Recent advances in machine learning methods have created highly automated geospatial analytics. These analytics still require human insight and validation to learn from their mistakes and be able to connect dots across data modalities. Here, we present work-in-progress research to design a map-centric interface that elicits human insight and trains machine learning-based geospatial analytics. This interface engages a human analyst in a forensic task, and transforms their interactions into corrective feedback that is delivered to the analytics, as well as their creators. We discuss the design process and preliminary results from limited user testing.

avatar for Leo Dillon

Leo Dillon

NACIS President, U.S. State Department


Emily Domanico

The Pennsylvania State University
avatar for Anthony Robinson

Anthony Robinson

Assistant Professor and Director of Online Geospatial Education, Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University
I direct Penn State's Online Geospatial Education programs and serve as an Assistant Director in the Department of Geography's GeoVISTA Center. On nights and weekends I'm Vice President of NACIS and Chair of the ICA Commission on Visual Analytics.

Jerry Shannon

University of Georgia

Friday October 19, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton I

10:40am EDT

Cartography and Fine Art: Exploring Intention and Purpose
Precision and chaos in gunpowder maps (10 minutes)
Presenter: Nick Martinelli, Apple
Controlled chaos and precision are topics for this gunpowder mapping presentation. There are several Methods for controlling and manipulating the incendiary process to get a desired outcome. How much control is appropriate? Differences in results will be explained. Finally I will discuss what is gained and what is lost when manipulating the level of control over the chaos that makes gunpowder maps distinctive.

Confluence and Beyond: Explorations in gunpowder mapping (continued...) (10 minutes)
Presenter: Matt Dooley, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Copresenter: Hailey Sauer, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Gunpowder mapping, a technique grounded in contemporary art, involves the controlled burning of paper through the ignition of gunpowder through a stencil. It provides a novel approach to the mapping process that encourages collaboration between makers, spurs conversations about geography and our environment, and crosses the digital divide. In this presentation, we discuss our recent work in gunpowder mapping focused on river systems in the central and southeastern U.S. as well as the Saint Croix Watershed in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Abstraction and Experience in Nature: Layering Perceptions of Place
Presenter: Lauren Rosenthal McManus, Independent Artist
Ecology serves as the conceptual framework of my investigation and maps provide the visual language for my expression. My recent drawings are made using pigments derived from rocks collected along lakes and streams; they are geographical blueprints layered with artifacts of a human connection to place. Lacking the markers by which we usually locate and navigate, these maps offer an opportunity to re-orient, to identify with and within the patterns of nature. By reframing boundaries and exposing vital bioregional relationships, these works highlight our inherent interdependence.

But What About the Place
Presenter: Steven R Holloway, toMakeTM Press & Editions
Have you been to the place itSelf? Making a map is about place, and place is something that is both other than, but also ourself - an interwoven and dynamic relationship. Making should involve a conscious exploration with this otherness before a mark is made; with emptiness of mind and intent. 'I wake to sleep, and . . . learn by mapping where I stop to map.' Our mark-mapping presents the opportunity of a moral center, no left or right, only the voice of the Place. You have to be on the side of the Place, the whole interwoven inclusiveness within which we live.

Beneath the Surface: Mapping with Intaglio
Presenter: Jake Coolidge, Colorado State Univ./National Park Service
Drawing maps by hand led me to rediscover intaglio, or etching, as a means to further explore the expressive dimensions of cartography. In this talk I'll discuss my initial foray into hand-printed cartography–a simple map of Mt. Rainier–as well as more recent projects and experiments. Etching a copper plate, working its surface with hand tools, inking it, and running it through a press spurs an exchange between the cartographer and the print medium that I have only begun to explore.


Jake Coolidge

Colorado State Univ./National Park Service
avatar for Matt Dooley

Matt Dooley

Professor, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
avatar for Steven R Holloway

Steven R Holloway

Creative, toMake Press & Editions
My maps, prints, and photographs are responses arising from an effort to stop and listen to the place. I make direct contact with, and in one Body, the experience of being awake and embracing the event. I make artist-editioned maps, prints, artist books, and broadsides in small numbered... Read More →
avatar for Nick Martinelli

Nick Martinelli

Developer/Cartographer, Apple

Lauren Rosenthal McManus

Independent Artist

Friday October 19, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII

10:40am EDT

Mapping and Software Development with Open Data II
Mapping (& not mapping) Chronic Disease for Healthy Neighborhoods
Presenter: Tim Stallmann, RAD
Copresenter: John Killeen, DataWorks NC
Over the past year, I've been working with DataWorks NC to figure out how best to share newly available data on chronic disease incidence with neighborhoods across the County. Through resident feedback, we've been moving away from maps and experimenting with data-driven illustrations and narrative text. In this talk, we'll share the participatory design process & technical structure of the Durham Health Indicators project, a reactive web app, printed infosheet and workshop curriculum which helps neighborhoods understand how individual conditions like diabetes and heart disease are influenced by factors like access to healthy food, walkability, poor housing conditions, and evictions.

3D as an effective way to communicate spatial information to a user
Presenter: Karel Jedlička, University of West Bohemia
The intention is to present a web based three dimensional solution for communicating (not exclusively) scientific results to wide public. A communication of information from its producer to a user can be done in many ways, which differs in their effectivity. Although a map is a native communication channel for presenting of spatial data, a presentation of spatial data in three dimensional environment is a growing alternative. Therefore this contribution firstly describes existing virtual reality environments used for 3D data presentation. Then a developed web application (http://ng.hslayers.org/examples/3d-olu/) is introduced and described. The application presents effective visualization large datasets.


Aly Ollivierre

National Geographic

avatar for Karel Jedlička

Karel Jedlička

University of West Bohemia

Friday October 19, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton II-III

2:00pm EDT

Cartographic History
A WWII Network of Female Cartographers
Presenter: Judith Tyner, CSU Long Beach
December 17, 1941 President Roosevelt signed a bill that included funds for mapping of areas deemed strategic for WWII. Training programs in military map making were organized. The assumption was that men would be the primary students; the big surprise was the number of women. The courses were instituted at women's colleges and normal schools. Women were involved in organizing the courses, providing the teaching materials, teaching the courses and, of course, enrolling in the classes and working for the newly formed Army Map Service. This paper examines the contributions and interactions of several women in the program.

Mapping Washington State’s Glacial Legacy
Presenter: Daniel Coe, Washington Geological Survey
Glaciers from last ice age left long-lasting imprints on the topography of Washington State. Geologists and cartographers have been unraveling this glacial landscape since the late 19th century. The Washington Geological Survey has recently created many new maps that build upon this rich cartographic inheritance by fusing earlier data and techniques with modern insights and technology. We will compare and contrast examples of our newest glacial—themed maps with their historical predecessors.

Operational Meteorology and the Network Theory of the Map: Telecommunications, Institutions, and Transitions
Presenter: Mark Monmonier, Syracuse University
Derived from a book now in preparation, this paper examines the symbiotic relationship between telecommunication networks and atmospheric cartography. Between the 1840s and the early twenty-first century the observation and prediction of weather in the United States evolved from postal correspondence, to the electric telegraph, to electronically switched telecommunications and the internet. Over this period an institutional network that began as a science project of the Smithsonian Institution was succeeded in turn by the Army Signal Service, the U.S. Weather Bureau, and the National Weather Service, which was restructured in the late 1990s around a network of Doppler radar stations.

The Model 501 Spatial Data Plotter: Making the Digital, Physical in the Mid-Twentieth Century
Presenter: John Swab, University of Kentucky
From globes to raised relief maps to today’s research in 3D map production, physical three-dimensional modeling has long been a critical visualization method for cartographers. While the results are useful, the costs of making such representations has historically precluded their widespread availability. Using artifacts from the Model 501 Three-Dimensional Plotter produced by Spatial Data Systems, Inc. in the late 1960s, this presentation examines the early intellectual history of digitally-created, physically-produced three-dimensional modeling. The presentation also situates the challenges of producing early physical three-dimensional modeling in relationship to larger computer-based cartography in the mid-twentieth century.

Visions of Light: Mapping Lighthouses and Other Nautical Beacons
Presenter: Harrison Cole, The Pennsylvania State University
Three maps published between 1874 and 1900 depict lighthouses on the coasts of three different countries—New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Finland. These maps not only chart the locations of the lighthouses themselves, but also their range, colors, and flashing patterns. Only a handful of lighthouse maps were created (possibly less than ten), but despite their scarcity and geographic disparity, their designs share striking similarities. My talk explores the visual and historical connections between these maps, focusing on how cartographers have depicted the ephemeral but pervasive phenomenon of light, particularly when one’s life depends on it.

avatar for Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

Red Geographics


Daniel Coe

Washington Geological Survey

Harrison Cole

The Pennsylvania State University

Mark Monmonier

Syracuse University

John Swab

University of Kentucky

Judith Tyner

CSU Long Beach

Friday October 19, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton II-III

2:00pm EDT

Map and Geographic Data Curation
The Pulley Ridge Data Curation Experience
Presenter: Timothy Norris, University of Miami
Copresenters: Christopher Mader—University of Miami Center for Computational Science; Sreeharsha S Venkatapuram—University of Miami Center for Computational Science; Julio Perez—University of Miami Center for Computational Science; Chance Scott—University of Miami Center for Computational Science
In 2011 the University of Miami Center for Computational Science (CCS) was invited to collaborate as data curators on a multi-year trans-disciplinary marine science project in the Gulf of Mexico. The CCS was tasked to build an online decision support resource with a data repository, a map-based data exploration tool, and a map- and data-based story telling tool. Additionally, the entire suite of tools is designed to be linked to the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI). This presentation reports on the geographic data curation process and the cartographic approaches implemented in the construction of the online decision support resource.

Linking Historical Population Census Data to Individual House Locations
Presenter: T. Wangyal Shawa, Princeton University
The United States decennial population censuses of individuals are released to the public after 72 years. These releases give researchers rich historical records about people living in particular places at specific times; if the data is spatially tied to individual houses, it will become much richer. This presentation is based on my recent project to spatially link the 1900 Census data of Princeton, New Jersey to individual houses located in the borough (urban) and township (rural) of Princeton. The project explores methodology and workflows anddescribes the challenges and opportunities of developing historical location data.

Eastern Bloc Borderlands: Digitizing Russian Military Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe, 1883-1947
Presenter: Theresa Quill, Indiana University Bloomington
Copresenter: Michelle Dalmau, Indiana University
The Russian Military Topographic Map Collection at Indiana University (IU) contains just over 4,000 maps of Eastern Europe at various scales. In the years surrounding World War II, these maps were captured in the field by opposing forces, including German and American troops; a history told by stamps on the maps themselves. While Soviet military maps from the Cold War era are abundant, these maps provide a view of the pre-war landscape. Digitization of this collection includes georeferencing and creating a custom metadata scheme to trace changes in place names and provenance, as the maps were captured and recaptured.

Collaborative Geographic Indexing of Map Series: Geodex 2.0
Presenter: Stephen Appel, American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries
In 1988, the American Geographical Society Library launched a geographic indexing software called Geodex. The software allowed for rapid input and searching of records for large paper map series and encouraged partner collections to reconcile index data to create a collaborative database. In recent years, the system has been redesigned using geodatabase architecture and Web GIS. With modern hosted GIS services, the potential of a shared geographic paper map index is within reach. This presentation will describe the platform, argue the benefits of Geodex for map collections and users, and share progress on its development.

Big Historical Geodata -- the next frontier
Presenter: Nathan Piekielek, The Pennsylvania State University
Libraries, museums and archives were the original big geospatial data repositories that to this day house thousands to millions of resources that contain research-quality geographic information. The problem is that these resources are not easily incorporated into the contemporary research process. Fortunately, big data tools and methods are equally as applicable to digitizations of geographic information that originated in physical form as they are to born-digital data. This presentation will provide an overview of several completed and on-going projects to turn print geographic information into big geospatial data by leveraging the power of computer-vision and machine-learning techniques.


T. Wangyal Shawa

Princeton University

avatar for Stephen Appel

Stephen Appel

Geospatial Information Specialist, American Geographical Society Library

Timothy Norris

University of Miami

Nathan Piekielek

The Pennsylvania State University

Theresa Quill

Indiana University Bloomington

Friday October 19, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton I

2:00pm EDT

Web and Mobile Mapping II
Recognizable labels for foreign map features
Presenter: Nicki Dlugash, Mapbox
When creating a global, street-level map in a specific language, a challenge arises: how do you label a map feature that doesn't have an already-established name in that language? What alternative information might be helpful to display in lieu of an established name? How might this differ depending on the map task, the type of map feature, and the language in question? Based on ongoing R&D at Mapbox (focusing on English and Chinese maps), this talk will explore a range of alternative label options, including generated names, names in local, similar, or familiar languages, descriptive text, and icons.

Where do we go from here? Designing better mobile maps
Presenter: Leanne Abraham, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Pervasive mobile map usage in the United States marks a distinct departure from prior reliance on static maps to perform tasks related to location. But, mobile maps are not yet well understood. To explore what makes mobile maps unique, I surveyed 224 smartphones to understand how mobile maps are enabled and constrained by their physical and technical environment. Then, I analyzed map design in 100 mobile mapping apps to evaluate how cartographic design conventions are being translated for mobile devices. Finally, I conclude with practical guidelines for how mobile map designers can better utilize this environment for cartography.

Direct Interaction: Narrative Web Maps and Explicit Bias
Presenter: Joe Blankenship, University of Kentucky
Copresenter: Rich Donohue, University of Kentucky - New Maps Plus
The form and function of a web map for users is rooted in the intent of the map creator. Minimizing modes of map interaction guides the cartographer to develop code, language, and design elements. This directs interaction, focusing the map creator’s intent, meaning, and message. Users thereby engage in a dialogue through the map with the creator and the wider audience. Therefore, the dialogue initiates a process of engagement superior to traditional maps that simply foment a statement. We conclude by offering standards for UX/UI design that provide for better legibility, explicit bias, and ethical web map development.

Building the UI for Priestley’s interactive timeline
Presenter: Ben Elan, University of Oregon InfoGraphics Lab
Copresenters: Daniel Rosenberg, University of Oregon Honor's College; Joanna Merson, University of Oregon InfoGraphics Lab; James Meacham, University of Oregon InfoGraphics Lab
Joseph Priestley’s “A New Chart of History” is an incredibly informative historical artifact. However, analyzing and visualizing spatial data without a traditional map can be challenging. When creating an interactive digital version of Priestley’s chart, I used D3 to provide the user with analytical and visual tools to help decode Priestley’s work. I will speak briefly about how I linked the interactivity between the chart, map, and bar graphs and why this combination enhances this historic masterpiece.

Interactive Flow Arrows: Understanding Commuting Statistics with HTML5 Maps
Presenter: Dany Bouchard, CartoVista
How can we best represent flows from an origin to a destination on a web map? From migration to commuting or import/export statistics, displaying flows with arrows is a useful way to communicate movement cartographically. However, this brings many challenges such as overlapping and legibility for example. This presentation will highlight real examples and techniques we used in CartoVista to display flow data while building meaningful thematic analyses. Interactive HTML5 technologies brings a lot more power to the end user; They can create inbound or outbound flows, play with options like stroke width, pattern and colors to represent different data.


Leanne Abraham

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Joe Blankenship

University of Kentucky
avatar for Dany Bouchard

Dany Bouchard

President, CartoVista
CartoVista: an interactive web mapping software with simple to use, yet advanced data analytics.

Ben Elan

University of Oregon InfoGraphics Lab

Friday October 19, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII

4:00pm EDT

Cartographic Processes
The wind beneath our wings: creating How Birds Migrate
Presenter: Brian Jacobs, National Geographic
Billions of birds migrate every year, and National Geographic Magazine covered this extraordinary phenomenon in print and digital forms. Our digital feature shows the intercontinental journey of several species of birds through text, audio, photography, and animated maps. I'll discuss the design and development of this project alongside the print poster, and the how and why of assembling geospatial animations. Much of this project involves marrying automated and manual map creation steps. I'll talk about workflow of creating animations from thousands of images, layering them with vector layers and hand-placed labels. Animated data sources include satellite imagery, global NDVI, GPS tracks, and bird abundance modeling.

Mapping for Environmental Law
Presenter: Jovian Sackett, Southern Environmental Law Center
The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) uses the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. Mapping for advocacy is a fair, but limited, characterization of SELC’s geospatial work. Our maps must often transcend the courts of public opinion and withstand rigors of evidentiary scrutiny in courts of law. Since NACIS is in Norfolk, come see how SELC uses maps, right here, to campaign against offshore oil/gas exploration, plan for sea-level rise, and clean up contaminated industrial sites.

The technology of US Topo mass production
Presenter: Andrew Stauffer, US Geological Survey
The US Topo production system maintained by the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center at the U.S. Geological Survey underwent major modernization in mid-2017. The system architecture and software are now housed in a cloud computing environment, and we used an Agile-based development paradigm of small, iterative improvements to create and now to maintain the system. I also discuss the underlying geospatial data framework that enables production of over 18,000 US Topo maps per year, as well as the workflows and business logic that can generate 65,000 unique maps from a single template and national geospatial database.

Lake Tahoe– Topographies in many forms
Presenter: Jeremy Goldsmith, National Geographic
This presentation highlights the research and production of two recreational mapping projects within the same geographic extent of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Learn how these maps are produced in multiple media formats–from folded maps to mobile platforms–and why both are essential to outdoor enthusiasts.


Donna Genzmer

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

avatar for Jeremy Goldsmith

Jeremy Goldsmith

National Geographic
There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature. Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings... Read More →

Brian Jacobs

National Geographic

Jovian Sackett

Southern Environmental Law Center

Andrew Stauffer

US Geological Survey

Friday October 19, 2018 4:00pm - 5:20pm EDT
Hampton II-III

4:00pm EDT

Cartographic Theory II
(A Woman’s) Cartographic Perspective
Presenter: Vanessa Knoppke-Wetzel,
Women (and minorities) often stay quiet about microaggressions and assumptions made in school and the workplace. These, and moments of impostor syndrome experienced, are often not widely discussed. As such, I wanted to share a few of my personal experiences as a student, professional, and conference attendee, and what, over time, I’ve learned to change in both my internal and external responses. I hope this adds to the many wonderful open discussions NACIS goers have, and encourages others to discuss theirs.

The new LGBT neighborhood: Everywhere
Presenter: Jeff Ferzoco, CARTO
In the past few decades, your city’s LGBT neighborhood has changed. Traditionally, gay neighborhoods were in clusters, making them centralized and secure. In recent years a variety of cultural, social and economic factors have distributed LGBT people widely across cities and regions. This shift has inspired mapping explorations of the history and current state of the American LGBT landscape—using historical texts, gay guides and data. This talk will look at the mapping projects being built to understand the new spatial distribution of the LGBT community—and those efforts can be used for other communities.


Rosemary Wardley

National Geographic


Friday October 19, 2018 4:00pm - 5:20pm EDT
Hampton I

4:00pm EDT

Road Trip NACIS
Cartography, Identity, Geopolitics, and License Plates
Presenter: Jonathan Leib, Old Dominion University
In the automobile era, one of the most visible expressions of a person’s place of residence is found on the license plate attached to their vehicle. Governments have played a major role in regulating automobility, both in controlling the actions of drivers and shaping national identities. One way this has been done has been through the use of pictures and symbols (including maps) on license plates representing their states. This exploratory research presentation focuses on the use of maps on license plates as ways of advancing, reinforcing, and contesting national identity and promoting geopolitical agendas.

Toponymic Tags
Presenter: Scott Zillmer, National Geographic
This talk will discuss the intersection of my career as a map editor with my personal hobby of license plate collecting. I will include a fun, light-hearted show-and-tell session of some of the plates in my collection. My basement is home to hundreds of real, used license plates with two things in common: 1) they’re all vanity plates, and 2) they all feature place-names. Subcategories include plates featuring country names, city names, and island names. There’s even a complete set of U.S. state-name vanities. It is a unique and somewhat twisted (and often misunderstood) theme amongst plate collectors.

Maps on the Landscape: The Case of Welcome Signs
Presenter: Donald Zeigler, Old Dominion University
Maps have insinuated themselves into the nooks and crannies of our cultural landscapes. That includes their use on the signs which American states and localities erect to say “Welcome.” Using photographic documents collected over four decades of landscape-loving, the form and function of welcome-sign maps will be addressed and interpreted. These maps and map-like images are used to make good first impressions, to mark territory, to orient and acclimate, to cultivate pride, to promote branding, and to improve the economic base. In general, they provide niches for the genius loci with whom we share the planet.


Jonathan Leib

Old Dominion University

Donald Zeigler

Old Dominion University

Scott Zillmer

National Geographic

Friday October 19, 2018 4:00pm - 5:20pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII