It is interesting to consider how far the discipline of human geography appears to have distanced itself from maps over recent times, resulting almost in a form of cartophobia. Several papers over the last years showed a decline in map use and mapping practices in high-profile geographic journals. Cartographic skills as a natural expertise of a geographer seems to have vanished in many places, as have the theoretical and practical elements of geographic data visualization. Do many geographers ‘prefer to write theory rather than employ critical visualizations’, as Perkins (2004: 385) notes?
Pulling back the academic veil can be fascinating. I remember one day 25 years ago in my first year of university, when my history professor paused to tell us about his current research project (a biography of an early 20th-century French politician). For a half hour he held the class rapt as he detailed the long effort required to nail down one specific detail in his subject’s life. For me it was a revelation: history was detective work, and therefore exciting stuff. That may have been the moment that sent me to graduate school in history (and not just me—that professor generated more graduate students than anyone else in that department).
I was reminded of that day as I was reading Mark Monmonier’s memoir, Adventures in Academic Cartography, which does much the same thing as my prof did back then: pull back the veil to reveal an entire academic career that was hidden from our view. Monmonier is a familiar name to those of us interested in maps, having published a dozen books—scholarly, erudite but accessible to the lay reader—over the years. (I’ve reviewed three of them myself: How to Lie with Maps, his essential text on how maps persuade and deceive; Rhumb Lines and Map Wars, a look at the politicization of the Mercator projection; and From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow, on the politics and controversies behind place names.) But, like my professor, we are largely aware of only one aspect of his career: in Monmonier’s case, the books. Adventures in Academic Cartography, which he self-published in the fall of 2014, fills in the blanks.
“How to Cite GIS Materials” is an older post (Caitlin Dempsey Morais first posted it to GIS Lounge in 2012, but retweeted it recently) but all the same a perennially useful one: it demonstrates proper citation format for GIS data sources as well as maps, whether paper or online.
The 6th International Symposium on the History of Cartography will be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia in October 2016. “The joint organizers invite contributions (papers and posters) on the dissemination of cartographic knowledge and the effectiveness thereof in diverse cartographic cultures and their related user groups around the globe. This includes the technological and conceptual aspects of cartographic production (maps, charts, globes, atlases, educational tools etc.), the usability of these techniques and the resulting products, as well as the conditions of the map trade as a changing network of private enterprises and official institutions, and the role of diverse audiences in the creation, circulation, consumption and ultimate preservation of knowledge.” Deadline for submissions is February 15. [via]