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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 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Transportation Maps

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Mapping the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Casey Greene, Adventure Cycling
The Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route is Adventure Cycling Association's newest bicycle touring route, and it's first which includes optional technical singeltrack sections. The route guides riders over and through the breathtaking landscape of central Idaho. From blue ribbon trout streams to sub-alpine terrain and cozy mountain towns, riders pass through some of the most spectacular country the West has to offer, with the opportunity to indulge in over 50 hot springs. Join Casey Greene - the designer, researcher, and cartographer of this route - as he talks about the many challenges faced with the 700+ miles of routing, and about the subtle, but innovative, design features that the final maps present.

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Mapping and Analysis using GTFS Data
Daniel McGlone, Azavea
General Transit Feed Specification, or GTFS, is a standard format for public transportation schedules and associated geographic information. It allows transportation agencies to publish their data and developers to to write applications that consume their data in an interoperable way. On a recent project for the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, Azavea was tasked with modeling level of service for the state's park system. Azavea converted the public transit agency's GTFS data into a shapefile while preserving the travel time estimation of each route. This presentation will provide an overview of and best practices for working with GTFS data. In addition; the workflow, techniques and drawbacks of the conversion process Azavea used will be discussed. Finally, a new tool to incorporate GTFS data into ArcGIS network analysis will be introduced.

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Untangling Pittsburgh (by Deconstructing the Road Map)
Robert Firth, Informing Design
Twenty-five years ago, Pittsburgh finished a new highway into the City, completing a pentagon of expressways around its Downtown.  Chaos ensued.  Even nuclear engineers at Westinghouse were getting lost along eight lane highways.  How was this possible?

Pittsburgh is notoriously complicated.  Ramps connect in one direction but not in the other, or take you right to go left.  Bridges cross a river and then do not let you off on the other side.  Local streets often don't go where they look like they are heading. 

Treating this complexity like a geometry puzzle, it turns out that it is possible to remap the roadway network as “untangled”, while keeping true to geography without distortion or loss of detail (except for the usual scale-dependent generalizing).  The network is broken down into layers consisting of “atoms” of simple travel patterns, which when superimposed result in a seamless “natural-looking” road map, except it’s one that can make a place as tough as Pittsburgh comprehensible. 

Drawing on print, web and app projects, this talk will demonstrate what such untangling visualizations can do for driving, walking, biking and bus-transit maps.  (Free Pittsburgh maps will be distributed.)

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Rethinking the Urban Bike Map
Nate Wessel, University of Cincinnati
Michael Widener, University of Cincinnati
'Bike maps', commonly produced by city departments of transportation to promote bicycling, tend to speak as though to an audience which engages only in casual recreational riding. In cities which don't have extensive segregated bicycle infrastructure, these maps have relied primarily on the subjective identification of 'bike routes' or 'good' vs. 'bad' streets for bicycling. Such maps are inappropriate for the diverse audience they're typically aimed at. More objective information must be mapped before subjective route-maps can be helpful for specified types of cyclists. Cincinnati is taken as a case study and a largely objective bike map is developed for a broad range of actual and potential bicyclists in it's hilly, urban area with little specialized bicycle infrastructure.

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avatar for Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

Principal cartographer, Oregon Metro
Matthew likes to go telemark skiing, spey fishing and exploring the landscape.


Robert Firth

President, Informing Design, Inc.
"figured out" Pittsburgh; hobby: untangling road maps

Casey Greene

Adventure Cycling
avatar for Daniel McGlone

Daniel McGlone

Senior GIS Analyst, Azavea
avatar for Nate Wessel

Nate Wessel

PhD Student, University of Toronto
PhD planning student at the University of Toronto, specializing in public transit, and urban transportation with a strong interest in data visualization.

Thursday October 9, 2014 4:00pm - 5:30pm
City Center A Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Attendees (18)