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In cartography and geology, a topological map is a type of diagram that has been simplified so that only vital information remains and unnecessary detail has been removed. These maps lack scale, and distance and direction are subject to change and variation, but the relationship between points is maintained. A good example is the tube map of the London Underground or the map for the New York City Subway.
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Cartography is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.
A map is a symbolic depiction emphasizing relationships between elements of some space, such as objects, regions, or themes.
In cartography, a map projection is a way to flatten a globe's surface into a plane in order to make a map. This requires a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations from the surface of the globe into locations on a plane. All projections of a sphere on a plane necessarily distort the surface in some way and to some extent. Depending on the purpose of the map, some distortions are acceptable and others are not; therefore, different map projections exist in order to preserve some properties of the sphere-like body at the expense of other properties. The study of map projections is the characterization of the distortions. There is no limit to the number of possible map projections. Projections are a subject of several pure mathematical fields, including differential geometry, projective geometry, and manifolds. However, "map projection" refers specifically to a cartographic projection.
Topography concerns the shape and character of the Earth's surface, and maps were among the first artifacts to record these observations. In modern mapping, a topographic map or topographic sheet is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines, but historically using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and artificial features. A topographic survey is typically based upon systematic observation and published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A topographic map series uses a common specification that includes the range of cartographic symbols employed, as well as a standard geodetic framework that defines the map projection, coordinate system, ellipsoid and geodetic datum. Official topographic maps also adopt a national grid referencing system.
Geovisualization or geovisualisation, also known as cartographic visualization, refers to a set of tools and techniques supporting the analysis of geospatial data through the use of interactive visualization.
A thematic map is a type of map that portrays the geographic pattern of a particular subject matter (theme) in a geographic area. This usually involves the use of map symbols to visualize selected properties of geographic features that are not naturally visible, such as temperature, language, or population. In this, they contrast with general reference maps, which focus on the location of a diverse set of physical features, such as rivers, roads, and buildings. Alternative names have been suggested for this class, such as special-subject or special-purpose maps, statistical maps, or distribution maps, but these have generally fallen out of common usage. Thematic mapping is closely allied with the field of Geovisualization.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to cartography:
Pictorial maps depict a given territory with a more artistic rather than technical style. It is a type of map in contrast to road map, atlas, or topographic map. The cartography can be a sophisticated 3-D perspective landscape or a simple map graphic enlivened with illustrations of buildings, people and animals. They can feature all sorts of varied topics like historical events, legendary figures or local agricultural products and cover anything from an entire continent to a college campus. Drawn by specialized artists and illustrators, pictorial maps are a rich, centuries-old tradition and a diverse art form that ranges from cartoon maps on restaurant placemats to treasured art prints in museums.
Terrain cartography or relief mapping is the depiction of the shape of the surface of the Earth on a map, using one or more of several techniques that have been developed. Terrain or relief is an essential aspect of physical geography, and as such its portrayal presents a central problem in cartographic design, and more recently geographic information systems and geovisualization.
The International Cartographic Association (ICA), is an organization formed of national member organizations, to provide a forum for issues and techniques in cartography and geographic information science (GIScience). ICA was founded on June 9, 1959, in Bern, Switzerland. The first General Assembly was held in Paris in 1961. The mission of the International Cartographic Association is to promote the disciplines and professions of cartography and GIScience in an international context. To achieve these aims, the ICA works with national and international governmental and commercial bodies, and with other international scientific societies.
Web mapping or online mapping is the process of using the maps delivered by geographic information systems (GIS) on the Internet, more specifically in the World Wide Web (WWW). A web map or online map is both served and consumed, thus web mapping is more than just web cartography, it is a service by which consumers may choose what the map will show. Web GIS emphasizes geodata processing aspects more involved with design aspects such as data acquisition and server software architecture such as data storage and algorithms, than it does the end-user reports themselves.
Critical cartography is a set of mapping practices and methods of analysis grounded in critical theory, specifically the thesis that maps reflect and perpetuate relations of power, typically in favor of a society's dominant group. Critical cartographers aim to reveal the “‘hidden agendas of cartography’ as tools of socio-spatial power”. While the term "critical cartography" often refers to a body of theoretical literature, critical cartographers also call for practical applications of critical cartographic theory, such as counter-mapping, participatory mapping, and neogeography.
The British Cartographic Society (BCS) is an association of individuals and organisations dedicated to exploring and developing the world of maps. It is a registered charity. Membership includes mapping companies, publishers, designers, academics, researchers, map curators, individual cartographers, GIS specialists and ordinary members of the public with an interest in maps.
Digital mapping is the process by which a collection of data is compiled and formatted into a virtual image. The primary function of this technology is to produce maps that give accurate representations of a particular area, detailing major road arteries and other points of interest. The technology also allows the calculation of distances from one place to another.
Borden D. Dent (1938–2000) was an American geographer and cartographer who served as professor emeritus and chairman of the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Georgia State University. His textbook, Cartography: Thematic Map Design, is one of the seminal texts in the field, and its sixth edition was reissued in 2009.
The Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) is an Ethiopian government agency, a department within the Ministry of Finance and Cooperation, that is responsible for cartographic mapping and remote sensing activities in Ethiopia. The EMA has expanded its operation to include a comprehensive map revision program in addition to various phases of digital mapping and information technology.
Global Map is a set of digital maps that accurately cover the whole globe to express the status of global environment. It is developed through the cooperation of National Geospatial Information Authorities (NGIAs) in the world. An initiative to develop Global Map under international cooperation, the Global Mapping Project, was advocated in 1992 by Ministry of Construction, Japan (MOC) at the time.
Counter-mapping refers to efforts to map "against dominant power structures, to further seemingly progressive goals". The term was coined by Nancy Peluso in 1995 to describe the commissioning of maps by forest users in Kalimantan, Indonesia, as a means of contesting state maps of forest areas that typically undermined indigenous interests. The resultant counter-hegemonic maps had the ability to strengthen forest users' resource claims. There are numerous expressions closely related to counter-mapping: ethnocartography, alternative cartography, mapping-back, counter-hegemonic mapping, and public participatory mapping. Moreover, the terms: critical cartography, subversive cartography, bio-regional mapping, and remapping are sometimes used interchangeably with counter-mapping, but in practice encompass much more.
Cynthia A. Brewer is an American professor of geography at the Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, and author. She has worked as a map and atlas design consultant for the U.S. Census Bureau, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Health Statistics, and National Park Service. She teaches the introductory cartography and map design courses. Her specialism relates to visibility and color theory in cartography. She also works on topographic map design, multi-scale mapping, generalization, atlas mapping. She has been influential as a theorist for map representations and influences GIS professionals.
Cartographic design or map design is the process of crafting the appearance of a map, applying the principles of design and knowledge of how maps are used to create a map that has both aesthetic appeal and practical function. It shares this dual goal with almost all forms of design; it also shares with other design, especially graphic design, the three skill sets of artistic talent, scientific reasoning, and technology. As a discipline, it integrates design, geography, and geographic information science.