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Welcome to NACIS 2014 in Pittsburgh! This is the annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). The theme for this year’s meeting is Cartography and Time. See the schedule below and go to the NACIS website for more details.

[If you are a presenter and want to provide a link to your slides in your presentation description below, send an email to veep@nacis.org.]

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

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Friday, October 10 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Mapping with your hands

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Digital to Analog: Explorations in non-traditional media
Matt Dooley, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Using non-traditional media in cartography provides exciting possibilities for engaging map readers. In this presentation, I explore the use of alternative media, namely clay and gun powder, to portray river systems in parts of the Great Plains and Upper Midwest. While not a replacement for standard cartography, I argue that the physicality of tangible media offers unique possibilities that cannot be achieved in the digital realm. These techniques might also provide new opportunities to engage a different kind of map reader, and perhaps, challenge them to see the world differently.

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Past Practices, Contemporary Applications
Jake Coolidge, Jake Coolidge Cartography
This talk will reflect upon recent experiences drawing large, geographically complex regions by hand, a practice that brings into sharp relief the many decisions at the core of the cartographer's craft--generalization and abstraction, label placement, the symbolization of features, among others--in an era where geographic information systems can automate many of these tasks and obscure the process from the map designer. I use hand-drawn map-making to reconnect with these processes in a tangible way, while invoking pre-digital maps made in the mid-20th century. I argue that reclaiming these practices in a contemporary context allows us to augment how we imagine places and to rediscover a broader set of tools for graphically expressing geographic phenomena.

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A (heartbreaking/heartwarming) story of our overwhelming (success/failure) using Kickstarter to fund a cartographic project
Nicholas Martinelli, Upper Left Maps
What happens when a cartographer, a screen printer, and a typographer walk into a Kickstarter campaign to produce an art print and production map? I wasn't sure either, until we tried it. Our presentation will either be about success and encouraging or  it will be a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of crowd funding.

Our campaign is offering production offset print maps at basic reward levels, and limited run screen and letterpress printed maps at the higher reward levels.

We will share the process we went through with Kickstarter including calculating a funding target, designing 'rewards', and getting the word out, and hopefully fulfillment.

We will also present the process of designing and producing the cartographic art prints printed on a 1908 letterpress machine.

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Auditory Symbology for a GIS
Megen Brittell, University of Oregon
Amy Lobben, University of Oregon
Michal Young, University of Oregon -- yes, the hands do appear!
Working toward a GIS that is accessible to people who are blind, we have designed and implemented a minimal geographic information system (mGIS) that presents classed thematic data through an auditory display. The mGIS dynamically generates non-speech audio to represent the map data based on the location of a cursor. Two substantial challenges in the design are the mismatch of the dimensionality of the geospatial data compared to that of the auditory display, and the suitability of the symbology for the specific tasks under consideration (e.g., locating and selecting a border of an enumeration unit). To address these challenges, we leveraged proprioceptive feedback and modified symbol design based on user feedback. The presentation will narrate the evolution of our auditory symbology using the mGIS as a case study, and discuss our experience developing an auditory display that is independent of any visual feedback.

avatar for Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

Red Geographics
Maps, data, cycling, photography


Megen Brittell

University of Oregon

Jake Coolidge

Freelance Cartographer, Jake Coolidge Cartography
I love working at the intersection of cartography and art, with digital and non-digital tools. My passions include: cartographic history, critical cartography, pre-digital mapmaking, transportation geographies, urban development studies, and the use of maps to depict narratives, examine change over time, or to shape our perception of reality.
avatar for Matt Dooley

Matt Dooley

UW-River Falls

Friday October 10, 2014 10:30am - 12:00pm
Marquis A Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Attendees (23)