For cartography, I love the intersection of data, software, and art. I’ve had occasional cause to dabble with code+cartography, but it has never quite been enough.
For generative art, it’s all code+art. It’s a great mix for me, and I’m always thrilled to be coding.
I’ve been excited by generative art for the past few years inspired by folks like…
As a spatial professional of nearly 10 years, I’m keenly aware of the pay delta between Spatial and other similar fields like development or design. Every time I read a thinkpiece or snarky tweet about it, I sigh and look at my pay stub wistfully, imagining what could be.
But shortly thereafter, I move on. I don’t ever wallow in self-pity or pitch my boss for more money. I get back to work and don’t pay (heh) it much mind.
For the Vermont Center for Geographic Information “GeoEnlightenment” series, I was asked to share my personal cartography tips and tricks. To highlight my approach to designing maps, I decided to take the audience through a bad-to-better evolution of a new map.
In this post, we’ll focus on making a useful election results map for Vermont. I’ll post direct links to data sources as I go through the process.
I was casting about for map design idea one night, and my wife had a good suggestion.
You’re always replicating old maps. Why not make the map from the future?
Never one to turn down a challenge, I set my imagination into motion to try to picture what a map might look like 50 years in the future.
These examples are pretty cool looking, but that’s not the vision I had for the future.
I think future digital displays will be more mundane.
This map caught my attention for several reasons. First, it aces the “squinty eye test”, which is the rapid heuristic I use to judge a map’s appearance in a few seconds.
I was browsing Pinterest for map inspiration (Pinspiration?) and got the idea to do a worldwide map layout showing the four hemispheres.
I forked the gist and started tweaking the translation settings to get snapshots of the four hemispheres. Using this Projection Explorer was a big help there.
I took those screenshots into Affinity Designer and nested them into some circles. Then I moved the circles around to create a really quick layout to see what it would look like.
And that’s how I explore a map idea on my lunch break.
I love the freedom of expression that comes from eschewing the typical data-driven approach to cartography, and mixing in additional disciplines like illustration, abstract art, or architectural design to a map.
Below are a few fun finds from across the internet, stumbled upon via Pinterest.
My attempt to summarize the proceedings, plus my own thoughts, questions, and musings.
Warning — No Lifeguard on Duty
It’s frightening to say things on the internet. We all have thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints, and we love talking about them. But when we do, we run the risk of running afoul of someone else’s thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints. When that happens, there’s no lifeguard on duty to save you.
I was reminded of this when I was having some technical issue or another a few weeks ago. I turned to my friends and colleagues in The Spatial Community for help.