More reactions to British Cartographic Society president Mary Spence’s complaint about satellite navigation and Internet mapping.
Ed Parsons, who was quoted in the original coverage, calls this “the annual ‘shock horror — nobody can read maps’ story” and a “desperate cry for attention.” He argues that the principles of cartographic design need to adapt to screen-based rather than paper maps.
Most online maps contain more detail than any traditionally designed map could ever do, but that detail is hidden behind an interactive interface, features are displayed dependent upon the level of zoom (scale) or the purpose of the map itself. …
The criticism also fails to take into account the biggest impact of the online revolution as far a mapping is concerned, now anyone with a web browser can be the publisher of maps, you no longer need to be a government institution or a large commercial company to produce a map and publish it to a global audience.
Rich Treves: “[O]f course you shouldn’t have churches and museums on a SatNav, it cramps up the view and you want it to be relatively sparse of detail so you can turn on layers like churches and museums at will. … IMHO the BCS needs to think clearly about what it is saying, comments about the loss of churches on SatNavs is as silly as bemoaning the disappearance of chimney sweeps in an age of central heating” (his emphasis).