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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 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Open Source Mapping

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Building Digital Maps for the National Park Service
Mamata Akella, National Park Service
The NPMap team has an ambitious goal: Creating an accessible, custom, and dynamic ("real-time") map for each of the 400+ National Park Service sites that can be used in both web maps and mobile applications. To support this goal, the team has built a flexible geospatial platform on top of a number of open source software projects, including PostgreSQL/PostGIS, Node.js, Mapbox, CartoDB, OpenStreetMap, Leaflet, Twitter Bootstrap, and Maki. This platform eliminates the technical hurdles that have traditionally been associated with building digital maps. This talk will go into detail about the NPMap team's geospatial platform and how we are enabling Parks to build and maintain their own maps.

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Working with semi-public APIs: Adventures in the gathering and visualization of Kickstarter data
Jim Thatcher, University of Washington-Tacoma
Josh Gray, mapvocate.net
Well-documented public APIs, such as Foursquare, Twitter, and Flickr's have become a core means of gathering spatially-referenced information. The resulting visualizations are useful to both researchers and more popular presses. New tools, like D3 and Leaflet, help cartographers visualize heterogeneous sets of data in previously impossible interactive ways. However, many data sources come with publicly accessible, but non-documented APIs. Accessing the wealth of information stored in such systems can be difficult or impossible, often resulting in necessarily partial and incomplete solutions. In this talk, we present our experiences working with Kickstarter's API and the KickScraper tool we built to gather spatial information from it. After presenting the tool and our resulting visualizations, including a marker-clustering map of the locations of all projects, we discuss the dangers and limitations of semi-public and undocumented APIs for researchers. We conclude with the next steps for our open-source tool building project.

Whither the Wikimap?
Carl Sack, University of Wisconsin Madison
Crowdsourced and 'volunteered' geographic information are concepts that have become of great interest to cartographers and GIScience professionals. Maps that rely on user-contributed data, called wikimaps, are becoming more mainstream and represent a major player in the future of web cartography. The most cited example, OpenStreetMap, now has a community of over 1.6 million users. But many questions remain about how such maps should be designed: How should such data be symbolized? How can it be judged for quality? How should ethics be applied in light of privacy concerns? How small-d 'democratic' is the crowd really, and how are crowdsourced maps really being used? These are just a few. This talk will present my experience to date creating and using wikimaps, with a focus on preliminary conclusions and questions for further investigation.

Open Data and Tools for Better Visualization and Analysis
Sarah Cordivano, Avazea
Civic data published by government agencies serves as a valuable asset to citizens because it enables them to access information that may have been previously unobtainable or costly.  Most importantly for cartographers and spatial analysts, open data can encourage the improvement of data quality because it provides oversight in data maintenance and organization. Additionally, there has been a recent increase in the range of open source analytical and visualization tools that are simple to use and either free or very low cost.  Readily available and community supported, these tools provide an incredible wealth of resources to produce high quality and sophisticated spatial analysis and visualization to GIS professionals and hobbyists alike. This talk will explore how the combination of open data and open source analysis tools create new possibilities both within the cartographic community and more broadly for the analysis and visualization of data.

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Neil Allen

Director of Cartography, Benchmark Maps


Mamata Akella

National Park Service
avatar for Sarah Cordivano

Sarah Cordivano

Project Manager, Azavea
Sarah Cordivano is the Project Manager for the Data Analytics team at Azavea. She oversees the development and promotion of Cicero, data analytics projects and the Summer of Maps program. She is passionate about promoting the use of open data and encouraging metadata and open data standards. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys baking, reading and traveling. She is a co-organizer of GeoPhilly, a local meetup for map enthusiasts.
avatar for Carl Sack

Carl Sack

Master's Student, UW-Madison
Carl Sack is a Ph.D. student in Cartography and GIS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the nature and empowerment potential of crowdsourced web maps, adapting Cartographic curriculum to changing technologies, and the ways in which maps encode various landscape values.

Jim Thatcher

University of Washington - Tacoma

Friday October 10, 2014 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Marquis A Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Attendees (36)