Saturday, August 24, 2013

CARTOGRAPHY - The Boundary Object of Our Time

With the 26th International Cartographic Conference about to start from Monday on officially and pre-conference workshops such as on the field of geoinformation, infrastructures and standards led by Antony Cooper running this week already there is coming up the question on the WIFS ("What's in it for Society?") of cartography in general.

Cartography for most of us is seen only, and by far in the form of maps that we use for specific usage in traveling, land/ sea surveying, air traffic control, military, city planning, architecture, sewage infrastructure, disaster management, mobile computing, etc.

Is that really all?

By far not, and yet we have to dig deeper, as we try to find out and learn. Yesterday we had a chance to have a short conversation with Antony Cooper and his colleagues, and learned more.

Team of the workshop
The Commission on Geoinformation, Infractucture and Standards of the ICA is working, similar to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to set the standards so exponentially increasing data provided by different stakeholders, and information gatherers can be jointly used in applications such as maps.

One thing that became immanently clear was that for creating the colorful maps it needs a grounded framework to build soundly error-free maps, and other spatial data using applications, across land, sea, and air space. Collaboration across different constituencies, stakeholders, institutions, cultures is needed to create sound quality maps that provide

Cartography, and especially around the field of spatial data information is acting as a boundary object to bring different stakeholders across national, and cultural boundaries together in a collaborative way, sort of "smoothforce" them to work together on one shared goal: making efficient use of given resources through mapping (paper, digital, institutionalized, crowdsourced, static, dynamic, interactive, ...)

If you got curious - just check the conference's website at or follow on Twitter #iccDD2013