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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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Thursday, October 9 • 8:30am - 10:00am
Map Style

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Personality, Aesthetics, and the Human Touch
Martin Elmer, MapHugger.com
Most guidelines on cartographic design emphasize minimalism and objectivity, encouraging a map aesthetic that appears clean, professional-looking, and authoritative. When these design values become over-emphasized, however, we may be left ill-equipped to appreciate (and design) maps with more personable and whimsical sensibilities.

This talk will examine the role of personality and the 'human touch' in cartography. It will discuss perspectives from the fields of identity design and emotional design, investigating how aesthetics and personality may be employed to communicate geographic information in more efficient, ethical, and engaging ways.

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Adapting Theories of Form, Style, and Meaning for Map Design
Ian Muehlenhaus, James Madison University
All visual communication has form. At its most basic, form is the system of relations among the elements of a communication or artistic expression. A communication's form drives its style and potential meaning by limiting and guiding a viewer's perception. Cartographers are aware that maps have form (e.g., map balance, visual hierarchy), but when designing and critiquing maps they often focus on the elements comprising the form (e.g., data richness, GUIs), an individual element's impact on interpretation (e.g., square versus circular symbol), and how objective the map appears (i.e., quantifiable accuracy). Here the author attempts to adapt more theoretical concepts of form - as expressed in literature, film, and graphics research - to map design. It is argued that these concepts may help us better address ongoing questions about map aesthetics, as well as guide narrative, argumentative, and expository map design.

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How Technological Changes Aesthetically Defined Pre-1900s Maps: A Stylistic Look at Woodblock, Copperplate & Lithograph Maps
Vanessa Knoppke-Wetzel, University of Wisconsin Madison
In art, stylistic means of identification that allow for defined and teachable reproduction methods exist for art styles that have occurred throughout history (such as Cubisim, Impressionism, etc). No such specific encompassing stylistic definitions of past  aesthetics in Cartography exist. My MS research hopes to begin a movement to define cartographic styles so that cartographers, whether learning or working, have stylistic references as sources for moments when they wish to reproduce a specific style they have seen. This research stylistically defines woodblock, copperplate, and lithograph print map styles based on the investigation of how  technological changes in production aesthetically affected map prints.

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The Cartographic Logo as a "Gateway Drug" to Illustrator
Kevin McManigal, University of Montana
So, you want to make a living as a cartographer. Do you have a logo? Logos don't matter? Well, I bet that you have hundreds of logos embedded in your head, and I can prove it. What will set you apart from all the other cartophiles out there? Besides, you need to learn Illustrator to be cartographers (we can debate this), and lucky for us, almost all logos are born there. Join me for an interactive presentation and discussion on logos, branding cartographic companies, and the unique Illustrator basics of logo fabrication that set would-be cartographers up for the life-long journey of mapmaking. You are here!

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avatar for Maggie  Smith

Maggie Smith

Freelance cartographer & designer, yoga teacher, adventurista, former cartographer at National Geographic magazine.

avatar for Marty Elmer

Marty Elmer

avatar for Vanessa Knoppke-Wetzel

Vanessa Knoppke-Wetzel

MS Cartography & GIS graduate, UW-Madison
I'm a detail orientated designer, cartographer, geographer, and programmer experienced in and passionate about creating visual stories in a fast paced environment through geo-visualizations. Whether on my own or with a team, I thoroughly enjoy finding imaginative and creative solutions for all design requests, from exclusively print products to more complicated interactive, web-based work. I'm experienced in various kinds of work environments... Read More →
avatar for Kevin McManigal

Kevin McManigal

Lecturer in GIS and Cartography, University of Montana
I was born, played hard, and ......... the end remains to be written.

Ian Muehlenhaus

Assistant Professor, James Madison University

Thursday October 9, 2014 8:30am - 10:00am
Marquis A Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Attendees (38)