Stuart Miller - GIS Output and the Role of Cartography


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BCS Symposium Mapping at Work - June 2009
Stuart Miller, STAR-APIC

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Stuart Miller - GIS Output and the Role of Cartography

  1. 1. GIS Output and the Role of Cartography Stuart Miller, Commercial Manager STAR-APIC
  2. 2. STAR-APIC <ul><li>Mapping software and solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data and database management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cartography and data publication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>FME </li></ul><ul><li>Team has many years of digital mapping experience – in UK 50+ years </li></ul>
  3. 3. 2009 - It’s a different and new mapping world <ul><li>Massive changes since digital mapping & GIS in the late ’70s </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping “freely” available </li></ul><ul><li>Web mapping software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>easy to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal Navigation Devices </li></ul><ul><li>User Generated Content (UGC) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Interesting Article <ul><li>Wired article on location services from January 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I Am Here: One Man's Experiment With the Location-Aware Lifestyle’ </li></ul>
  5. 5. Background to Change <ul><li>I am looking at the wider picture of cartography … & not just cartographic publishing for CMYK Printing </li></ul><ul><li>There are many, but 2 of the themes are … </li></ul>
  6. 6. Public Sector Pressures <ul><li>Cut costs </li></ul><ul><li>Improve productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Make data available to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Planning initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Share data with other organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Data Standards for interoperability, OGC, INSPIRE …. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mapping on the Web <ul><li>Accessible, Easy, Cheap or free ! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Maps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimap, Streetmap, …. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenStreetMap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web GIS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too slow & complex ? For experts only? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question … </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Role of Cartography? <ul><li>Cartography Still Matters </li></ul><ul><li>Always Did … </li></ul><ul><li>GIS was part of Cartography </li></ul><ul><li>Mid ’80s – it flipped and the perception was that Cartography (in a form) was a part of GIS </li></ul><ul><li>No point in fighting it – perception is reality! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Principles of Cartography <ul><li>What are you trying to show ? </li></ul><ul><li>Projection of earth to flat media </li></ul><ul><li>Generalisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplify to meet requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight to communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data update and Maintenance </li></ul>
  10. 10. Principles of Design <ul><li>The purpose of design is to focus the attention of the user </li></ul><ul><li>The Principles of Cartographic Design are Timeless, the Results are not    </li></ul><ul><li>The Rules of Cartographic Design can be taught and learnt, principles and concepts have to be acquired </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 11. Back onto Topic … <ul><li>Cartography in the GIS context </li></ul><ul><li>Briefest of backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>(GIS Adoption in time order …) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capture/Conversion/Revision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restructuring/Importing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding Attribution/Intro of DBMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis/Querying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remodelling of data/speed of queries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data sharing interoperability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction of Standards/Sharing … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… . What Priority was given to Output? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Output from GIS - 1 <ul><li>It was very basic plots </li></ul><ul><li>An output in early days was an achievement! </li></ul><ul><li>So much data manipulation – called ETL now; consumed most of our time in the GIS industry </li></ul><ul><li>As it was computer driven it was not market led or customer led but technology led & task in hand was data acquisition and conversion </li></ul><ul><li>So more recently … </li></ul>
  13. 13. Output from GIS - 2 <ul><li>Lately, GIS output has broadened, has matured, more expected (demanded?) from the investment now </li></ul><ul><li>Decades of investment </li></ul><ul><li>More user-interactive; professional and consumer – User Generated Content (UGC) </li></ul><ul><li>But it can create Anarchy in both editorial control and also basic principles and cartographic design </li></ul><ul><li>Just because it is possible doesn’t mean to say it is acceptable (in whose eyes though?) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Creation of Maps <ul><li>It was predicted many years ago that the map creation capabilities would be passed to the ‘mass market’ with its limited knowledge of the discipline </li></ul><ul><li>But we have to embrace it – not knock it! </li></ul><ul><li>The role and challenge is to ensure that the tools (and not just the maps) are ‘fit for purpose’ </li></ul><ul><li>The design and capabilities of the map tools are as fundamental to cartography as the maps themselves </li></ul>
  15. 15. Cartography - Re-Emergence <ul><li>Now that after two decades the data conversions, fine tuning and ‘sweat equity’ has been invested by organisations </li></ul><ul><li>… More Recently - how an Application of GIS is judged is down to its different media types/accessibility and the currency of the Output to the wider user </li></ul><ul><li>So there is NO SURPRISE that cartography is re-emerging as being important </li></ul><ul><li>It may not be termed ‘cartography’ as much – but it is cartography by a different name </li></ul>
  16. 16. An example of an Output that is ideal for Cartography <ul><li>GeoPDF format </li></ul><ul><li>I suggest you download </li></ul><ul><li>GeoPDF Encoding Best Practice Version 2.2 April 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Background to the Format & its creation </li></ul>
  17. 17. GeoPDF <ul><li>The Army’s Geospatial PDF Project provides GeoPDFs to all warfighters and those tasked with supporting them. </li></ul>US Army Corps of Engineers Army Georeferenced PDF (GeoPDF) Project
  18. 18. <ul><li>What does a GeoPDF do? </li></ul><ul><li>with Adobe Reader - Multiple coordinate displays [default is Lat/Long and MGRS], automatic coordinate display, supports 400+ datums and 40+ projections, measure area / length with Reader w/o file having to be reader enabled, importing / exporting geospatial data with Reader [cvs, gpx, kml, kmz and shp/shm], GPS Tracking </li></ul>Works with free Adobe Reader
  19. 19. More on GeoPDF <ul><li>With Adobe Acrobat - all above plus create GeoPDF manually, GeoMark Enable files for extended use in Reader and Map Assembler for combining multiple GeoPDF files. </li></ul><ul><li>Layered – Raster & vector & multiple pages for ‘mapbooks’ </li></ul><ul><li>Editable, GPS linked and has inbuilt tools </li></ul><ul><li>GeoPDF complies with Adobe's PDF specification and ISO 32000 </li></ul>Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  20. 20. Samples <ul><li>GeoPDF Samples </li></ul><ul><li>Go to http:// /download/index/ </li></ul><ul><li>For TerraGo Desktop ToolBar free download </li></ul><ul><li>Try Google Maps link and Editing Toolbar capabilities </li></ul>
  21. 21. USGS Samples <ul><li>Go to http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>“ Digital Maps—Beta” ( </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 60,000 United States Geological Survey Digital Raster Graphic maps have been converted to GeoPDFs and are available to anyone via the website . </li></ul>
  22. 22. Some USA users of GeoPDF <ul><li>Source: Terrago Technologies Inc </li></ul>Utilities, Oil & Gas, Transportation State & Local Government Defense & Intelligence Systems Integrators Public Safety & Emergency Response Engineering & Natural Resource Management Dallas Police Dallas Police
  23. 23. Conclusion 1 <ul><li>Cartographic Output of GIS data is now perceived to be important </li></ul><ul><li>… Never went away in the Cartographers’ eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Map creation Tools and Data formats (one example GeoPDF) and dissemination & communication technologies have enabled the discipline of cartography to re-emerge </li></ul><ul><li>Basically GIS has matured in its needs … </li></ul>
  24. 24. Conclusion 2 <ul><li>In today’s society with its technical capabilities at the consumer level there is NOW the Need and Desire for quality map products that fit the purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in Cost in map creation </li></ul><ul><li>Speed of Creation and Distribution </li></ul>
  25. 25. Conclusion <ul><li>Cartographic Professionals have to be at the top table to contribute and shape the overall GIS and Geospatial industry agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Finally - Be Proactive and not Reactive within the maturing GIS industry </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Thank you </li></ul><ul><li>Stuart Miller </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Manager STAR-APIC UK </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>+44 (0)7885 297994 </li></ul>Contact Details