Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration

Crash-course in Cartography, Concepts to Cover

July 29th, 2012

(Unbelievable genius emanating from this brain tonight: the concoction of a 5 C title in less than 10 seconds!)

It looks like I’ll be putting together a workshop for Colo. State University this fall on cartography. We’ll focus on the basics:

Good design takes time
Trial and error are your friend
Peer review is essential to a map that makes a lasting impression
Studies of the great stuff: National Geo., new OSM-based layers from Stamen Design, Tufte principles, etc.
Critiques and “what’s wrong with these maps? maps”
Work flow and software to accomplish it
User experience

There won’t be a lot of time to discuss everything in-depth. For example, I may just touch on user experience but not go into a big treatise on ways/means to accomplish a good outcome for that goal.

I’d really be glad to hear what you all have to say about what things are most important to cover in a 4-hour cartography crash-course. Think about what you wish you would have been taught that would have made your life a lot easier. I’m open to any suggestions you have, either privately by email or via the comments here. Thank you!


One Coment

  • MonxoLopez says on: July 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm


    This seems like an ideal class! Please post the syllabus as soon as you have it. I think that even the provisional order of your course seems right. From the very general to the more specific. I am specifically interested in the work flow and software part. And I do believe that the peer review section is essential. Peer review is not only about aesthetics, but it gives our work a scientific-like vibe. Science is good. Maps are not exclusively a scientific affair, but there should be some scientific ‘something’ about them, at least while we are creating them. Peer review should also be about THAT.

Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration