SoCBCSbannerThis year the Society of Cartographers and the British Cartographic Society conference will be a joint event. It is to be held at the Radisson Park Inn (in York) on the 8th, 9th & 10th of September. The call for contributions is now open for the joint conference, ‘Mapping Together’. Submissions are invited for both papers within the main conference sessions and workshops during the breakout sessions.

Whilst not specifically an ICA or Neocartography event, there will be a neocartography theme as part of it. There is still time to submit an abstract (and get a free day conf attendance if succesfull)

SoC neocartography session 2 Sept – abstracts, bios, and reports

socneocartoThe joint Society of Cartographers and ICA Neocartography Commission session was well attended and had some great feedback. The range of topics was wide, but inter-connected.

This post shows abstracts, biographies, and reports (by Barend Kobben and Steve Chilton) from each of the four sessions. It is hoped to have full articles from some of them in the next SoC Bulletin.twitartem

artemDesigning fast, responsive maps with ‘Mapbox Studio': cartography for everyone, Artem Pavlenko
Abstract: Take OpenStreetMap (global crowd-sourced data set), throw in open source tools like `Mapbox studio` and we’re all cartographers now. In this talk I will demonstrate how `vector tile technology` allows designers to more easily apply intricate cartographic styles to global data, creating interactive base maps of the whole world. This presentation will walk the audience through the process of designing one such map, highlighting some of the technical and design challenges: multi-language support, varying population densities and landscapes.
Biog: Artem is the creator of Mapnik, the open source map renderer behind many on-line maps including OpenStreetMap. At the moment he’s helping to build a new generation of tools at Mapbox. Artem is an open source advocate and enthusiast and continues to lead Mapnik’s core development. Artem has been involved in geospatial work since 1997. He has a Master’s degree in radio-electronics from the Moscow Institute of Aviation and currently lives with his family in Oxfordshire, England.


flemingThe (OpenStreetMap) State of Scotland 2014, Chris Fleming
Abstract: We will start with a tour of Scotland’s cities looking at them using OpenStreetMap data in a variety of styles. Before considering some of the trends in, OpenStreetMap Data in particularly in Scotland are evolving this year, looking at where this mapping is going and some of the weak spots. As well as some of the community activity and how the data might be translated back into actual maps and useful information for local communities.
Biog: Chris has been playing with making maps since he was let out onto the streets of Johannesburg on his BMX at a young age with pencil and paper, His family moved to England and then he moved to Edinburgh to study Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. He got back into maps when discovering OpenStreetMap in 2007 and works doing software consultancy around Telecoms signalling and OpenStreetMap.



heikkiOpen Source Cartography: Map Design with QGIS, Heikki Vesanto
Abstract: Recent years have seen a dedicated movement towards open data, with more and more datasets becoming available for cartographic use for the general public. The utilization of these datasets is made possible with the emergence of world class free and open source GIS software, prime among them QGIS.
On the processing side QGIS has for a long time been competitive with commercial GIS packages. However over the last few releases QGIS has seen an emphasis on the cartography. QGIS is not meant as a competitor to desktop publishing software, rather the power comes from the ability to use data to drive cartography. The Atlas generator can create a whole atlas driven by a dataset of boundaries, and the symbology can be driven by the data itself. This opens new possibilities for cartography and crating amazing maps.
Biog: Heikki Vesanto is a GIS consultant from Stirling based thinkWhere. Working on the services team providing GIS consultancy, customer support and training. He has an Undergraduate degree from the University of Glasgow in History and Geography, and a Masters from the University of Helsinki in Geoinformatics, with an emphasis on remote sensing. He is passionate about the future of open GIS and the new possibilities it brings.


kayAdventures in cartography with Free And Open Source Tools, Steven Kay
Abstract: In recent years, Free and Open Source Tools have made it possible for people with a non-cartographic background to explore and visualise data geospatially. With the increasing availability of spatial open data from governments and other bodies, and the rise of crowdsourced maps such as OpenStreetMap, members of the public can now analyse and map geographic data in ways difficult to imagine 5 or 10 years ago.  With OpenStreetMap, members of the public are being actively engaged in mapping their neighbourhoods – “citizen mapping” – empowering them to tackle local issues, such as the identification of unused land or areas prone to flooding.
My personal journey in learning to use these tools has been a challenge, but a rewarding one.  Not having a formal cartographic background means that design mistakes will be made. But his opens up the possibility of innovation, discovery and rediscovery in cartographic design. Sharing maps online can also lead to useful critique.  Whether it’s the photogenicity of mountains, mapping poor health, or finding out how our Roman invaders headed us off at the pass, FOSS tools can help us understand and explore the world around us.
Biog: Steven Kay is an Open Source Geospatial Technologist at GeoGeo, working on web and mobile map applications. He has a BSc Hons in Computer Science from Heriot-Watt University and 20 years’ experience in IT, mostly in the Finance sector. He has been an OpenStreetMap contributor for 5 years.

Neocartography session at Society of Cartographers conference, 1-2 Sept

socneocartoI am pleased to announce that the ICA Neocartography Commission is partnering with the Society of Cartographers to present a joint session at the latter’s annual conference in Glasgow on 1-2 Sept 2014.There are a range of topics covered in the session: from Openstreetmap, through QGIS, to the latest vector developments from mapbox. At present there is still one presenting slot available. So, if anyone would like to showcase their work, research or ideas then please contact me:

The full programme is at, with online booking for the conference at: including very reasonable day attendance fees.

Steve Chilton

Call for papers for the Commission-supported LBS2014 symposium

LBS2014 logoThe 11th International Symposium on Location Based Services will be held in Vienna, Austria, 26–28 November 2014.

Several ICA commissions – including Neocartography – will be involved in the event with themed sessions. We are therefore inviting submissions in the field of neocartography and location-based services.

Details can be found in the Call for Papers. Deadline for full papers and work in progress is May 15, 2014. When using EasyChair please make sure to check the “Neocartography” category.

Details of the conference can be found on We hope to see you in Vienna!

Call for papers – joint SoC/ICA session Sept 2014

University_airphotoCALL FOR PAPERS:

The 50th Society of Cartographers conference takes place from 31 Aug-2 Sept 2014 at the University of Glasgow. The afternoon session on Tuesday 2 Sept is to be a joint one, with the ICA Commission in Neocartography [] joining with the SoC for the occasion. This will be a great opportunity for neocartographers and traditional practitioners to meet and discuss their interests.

If you would like to offer a presentation as part of the programme at this event, please email a title and a 200 word abstract to by Fri March 14th. The major themes of the session are:
•       Innovation in proprietary online mapping systems
•       Innovation with open source mapping services
•       Interesting map designs in the new milleau
•       Designing maps for mobile devices
•       Mapping from social media and crowdsourced data

The SoC programme committee will review proposals, and decisions relayed to all who have submitted by Fri 11 April.

Presentations: ICC2013 Dresden pre-conf workshop “Mapping in a digital world”

The ICA Commissions in Neocartography and in Map Design held a pre-conf workshop in Dresden in August. Full details of the programme are available. A short report has also been published on this site. The following links will take you to some of the presentations from that programme [with apologies for them taking so long to appear].

Dresden skyline

Re-Designing the Next Generation of Multi-scale World Topographic Maps: A Changing Landscape (Damien Demaj, Esri Inc) [Slideshare link]

Viewpoints: multiple ways to view the world (Julia Stirnemann, Universität Bern) [Slideshare link]

Color for Online Mapping: Still difficult to choose (Beate Weninger, HafenCity University Hamburg) [Slideshare link]

Map activities in Wikipedia and the cooperation with OpenStreetMap (Tim Alder, Wikipedia/OpenStreetMap activist) [Slideshare link]

Geocollaboration at São Paulo State University, Brazil (Arlette Meneguette, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil ) [Slideshare link]


ICA Workshop – report


The joint ICA pre-conf workshop held by the Neocartography and Map Design Commissions was a great success, being attended by 30 delegates (even though it was 2 days before the main conference started). The President of the Conference Organising Committee (Manfred Buchroithner) welcomed us, and we were pleased to have ICA President Georg Gartner give the opening talk, a thought provoking start to proceedings. We are currently gathering together the presentations which will be linked from here shortly. Co-vice-Chair Andrew Turner has blogged his conference experience here, and for now will just quote his thoughts on the workshop itself:

“The week kicked off with a joint workshop of the Commissions on Map Design and Neocartography hosted by the illustrious Steve Chilton and Ken Field. Throughout the day many of us shared our thoughts and suggestions for the concepts digital, personal, interactive realtime cartography. I will write up my talk separately, but the many other attendees covered insightful areas of work and ideas. Julia Mia Stirnemann, a designer by background, showed the importance of projection in storytelling and perspective demonstrating her WorldMapBuilder. Beate Weninger demonstrated the clear case and design work for better colors in digital cartography – particularly gradient color ramps that affect color vision deficiencies and even situational color blindness caused by ambient environment, lighting, screen displays, and other non-controllable interferences with your maps.”

From left: Georg Gartner introduces the workshop; Beate Weninger’s noise mapping; Steve Chilton’s lightning talk


Details: ICC2013 pre-conf workshop “Mapping in a digital world”

Organized by the ICA Commissions on Map Design and Neocartography, this one-day workshop pre-conference to the ICA International Cartographic Conference 2013 will explore practical themes relating to the design and creation of effective online maps and information products. The updated schedule is now available below and we very much look forward to your participation in Dresden this coming Saturday (24th August 2013).

Morning presentations by a range of acknowledged experts in the field will seek to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art as well as touch on some of the challenges we face. Afternoon presentations will look at more specific user-oriented projects. We will share ideas and seek to develop common threads to take work in this area forward as part of a series of lightning talks and a panel discussion. Please come prepared to participate…

The workshop is being held in Room 101, 1st floor of the Lecture Hall of the TU Dresden, Bergstraße 64, 01069 Dresden, Germany

We aim to start at 9:30 and we are providing full morning and afternoon refreshments as well as lunch. There is no cost to attend the workshop.

There’s still time to join us and participants can Register Here


09:30 – 10:00      Welcome and introduction (Kenneth Field, Esri Inc and Steve Chilton, Middlesex University)

10:00 – 10:30      New paradigms in digital, interactive realtime cartography (Andrew Turner, Esri Inc)

10:30 – 11:00      The aesthetics of mapping (Alex Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University)

11:00 – 11:30      Break (refreshments provided)

11:30 – 12:00      The state of the mapping API (Gary Gale, Nokia)

12:00 – 12:30      Re-Designing the Next Generation of Multi-scale World Topographic Maps: A Changing Landscape (Damien Demaj, Esri Inc)

12:30 – 13:30       Lunch (lunch provided)

13:30 – 13:50       Title TBA (Julia Stirnemann, Universität Bern)

13:50 – 14:10      Color for Online Mapping: Still difficult to choose (Beate Weninger, HafenCity University Hamburg)

14:10 – 14:30      Map activities in Wikipedia and the cooperation with OpenStreetMap (Tim Alder, Wikipedia/OpenStreetMap activist)

14:30 – 14:50      It’s Not Just Interactivity: Web Map Layout, Design, and Aesthetics (Ian Muehlenhaus, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse)

14:50 – 15:20      Break (refreshments provided)

15:20 – 16:00       Lightning talks by participants to be determined unconference style

16:00 – 16:45       Panel discussion led by the organisers

Panel: Andrew Turner, Gary Gale, Damien Demaj, Alex Kent, [led by Kenneth Field & Steve Chilton]

The panel will be invited to discuss a range of themes that have emerged throughout the day and also topics that the participants wish to explore.  In particular, we’re keen to explore how a research agenda for design in online mapping might be shaped for the next few years.  What are the major challenges and opportunities?  How might these be approached and, possibly, solved? What can the ICA Commissions do to push forward research and/or action?

16:45 – 17:00 Closing remarks

Organizers: Kenneth Field, Alexander Kent, Bernie Jenny, AnjaHopfstock (ICA Commission on Map Design); Steve Chilton, Manuela Schmidt, Andrew Turner (ICA Commission on Neocartography)

There’s still time to join us and participants can Register Here

Mapping in a Digital World

The following are the main details for the joint ICA commission workshop session entitled “Mapping in a Digital World” to be held prior to the ICC conf in Dresden.

Date: Sat 24th Aug Time: 09.00 – 17.00 Location: 1st floor, room 101

You can register (FREE) for the session at: Pre Conference Workshops The workshop registration is down the page, and may be booked whether or not you are attending the full conference.

Outline agenda
09:00 – 09:30 Welcome and introduction (Kenneth Field and Steve Chilton)
09:30 – 12:00 6 main workshop presentations (with mid-session coffee break)
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:20 Shorter participant papers
14:20 – 15:00 coffee break
15:00 – 16:00 Lightning talks by participants to be determined ‘unconference’ style
16:00 – 16:45 Panel discussion (led by the organisers)
16:45 – 17:00 Closing remarks (Kenneth Field, Steve Chilton)

Confirmed speakers (across the sessions) include: Kenneth Field (Esri), Steve Chilton (Middlesex University), Gary Gale (Nokia), Andrew Turner (GeoIQ & Esri), Damien Demaj (Esri), Alexander Kent (University of Canterbury), Bernhard Jenny (Oregon State University), Beate Weninger (HafenCity University Hamburg), Tim Fendley (Living Map Company),

Organisers: Kenneth Field, (ICA Commission on Map Design); Steve Chilton (ICA Commission on Neocartography)


ICC Conference, Dresden 2013

The 26th International Cartographic Conference will take place in Dresden, Germany, 25–30 August 2013. Visit for details.

The conference will provide a forum for the presentation of scientific papers illustrating the current work of the research community, professional papers describing the cutting-edge methods employed by mapping organisations, meetings of the ICA Commissions (including the Neocartography Commission) and Working groups, map exhibitions and the chance to meet with colleagues and friends from all over the world.

The deadline for abstract submission is approaching. To start your submission please visit We are hoping to have both a pre-conf workshop (in conjunction with the ICA Commission on Map Design) and also themed session within the programme.

Important Dates

Paper Submission Deadline November 1, 2012
Papers Acceptance Notification January 14, 2013
Final Paper Deadline March 15, 2013
Authors Registration Deadline March 15, 2013