Main Topic: Importance of Professional Organizations. News: CES, OGC WPS, Landsat.
One of the main issues in geospatial technologies today is the quality of the output whether it be for a presentation, map in a document or a poster. The underlying issue is the lack of training in digital cartographic concepts, the art that enables the user to convey the science. In Making Maps: A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS, John Krygier and Denis Wood, both well published Geographers and Cartographers, are cognizant of this duality and have presented a unique mix of visual example and explanatory text that introduces readers to the basic concepts of creating effective maps.
The first impression, before you even begin to read this book, as you are leafing through, is that the authors had a specific objective: to introduce the reader to map design. This is conveyed in the text of course, but the layout of the book is as much an exercise in, and example of, design as the content inside. From chapter headers to the figure layout and captioning, the content works to blend form with function in a way that makes it obvious that this book is separate from most of the current texts on map making. This is definitely an example of practice what you preach.
The actual text may seem overly simplistic at first, especially if you are familiar with cartography texts by MacEachren, Kraak, and others; however, this is deceptive as the format and organization the authors chose allow the reader to get to the heart of the information in an informal yet effective style. In all honesty I was quite critical when I began the book but quickly came to enjoy the book because of its minimal text and graphical approach to the subject matter.
Overall, Making Maps will make a strong textbook for digital cartography classes and a useful text for those of us who have been struggling with map design for representing our analyses. Even seasoned GIS professionals and cartographers will find useful information and design tips in the book. It is almost worth picking up for the glowing cover blurb that Anne Knowles provides alone. The one wish that I have is that it would be great to have a companion CD or website for the book, which could present interactive examples and more examples in color.
Main topic: Location Based Services. News:RGGI, Landsat Orthorectified, Tsunami a year later.
I am thinking about putting together a series of 5 minute howto videocasts for beginners. These would be screen grabs and voice overs of common computer related activities in Geography such as GIS, RS, stats, and some scripting and entry level programming that could help steer folks in the right direction. What I would like to find out from our readers and listeners are two things:
1) what topics/activities do you think we should cover.
2) does anyone think they would like to submit a howto on a specific topic
If you have any ideas please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see how things go. I hope to have a demo episode of what I have in mind up by the middle of January though I don’t think we would go live until February based on the other things going on right now.
Main Topic: 2005 Year in Review
Episode is rated PG due to inuendo.
Outtakes galore as we travel the countryside.
Outtakes for your amusement. Happy Holidays!