ICC Conference, Dresden 2013

The 26th International Cartographic Conference will take place in Dresden, Germany, 25–30 August 2013. Visit www.icc2013.org 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 http://www.icc2013.org/?node=13. 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

Commission workshop at UCL: slide decks, reports, videos

The first ICA Neocartography Commission workshop, held at UCL on 5 Sept, was a very successful event – being attended by 36 delegates, 16 of whom had attended the Society of Cartographers Conference earlier in the day. This post has some slides and videos from the workshop. The twitter backchannel is available at: #soc2012

Ben Hennig (U of Sheffield) “From geovisualisation to neocartography: Maps in a digital world” – Ben’s blog post with embedded Slideshare of presentation — Direct link to slides

Richard Fairhurst (OSM Foundation) “The unstoppable advance of OpenStreetMap”

Chris Watson “Hyperreal Augmented Narratives”

Graham Hooper “Drawing on Psychogeography – GPS, photography and the new-map”

Ifan Shepherd (Middlesex University): “Maps – GIS – Experiental Engagement: a possible roadmap for Neocartography”

Gary Gale (Nokia) “History Repeats Itself And So Does The Map“ – Gary’s blog post with embedded Slideshare of presentation

Programme details: ICA Commission on Neocartography, 5th Sept

The first formal Neocartography Commission session is set to start directly after the Society of Cartographers conference, and will be held from 3-45pm to 7-15pm at UCL (in London) on Wednesday 5th September.  The themes have been chosen to meet the commission’s aims – with speakers asked to think broadly, and be interesting.

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/3930371848 to book a place (Free)

4.00 Welcome – Steve Chilton (ICA Commission Chair)
4.10 Ben Hennig (U of Sheffield) “From geovisualisation to neocartography: Maps in a digital world”
4.40 Richard Fairhurst (OSM Foundation) “The unstoppable advance of OpenStreetMap”
5.10 Lightning talk: Chris Watson “Hyperreal Augmented Narratives”
5.20 Coffee
5.40 Lightning talk: Graham Hooper “Drawing on Pyschogeography – GPS, photography and the new-map”.
5.50 Prof Ifan Shepherd (Middlesex University) “Maps – GPS – Experiential Engagement: a possible roadmap for Neocartography?”
6.20 Gary Gale (Nokia) “History Repeats Itself And So Does The Map“
6.50 Close – Steve Chilton

For info on getting there, see: http://www.soc2012.soc.org.uk/getting-here
Abstracts are available in the previous post.

Commission session at UCL, 5th Sept

Am currently planning the first formal Neocartography Commission session. It is set to start directly after the Society of Cartographers conference, and will be held from 3-45pm to 7-15pm at UCL (in London) on Wednesday 5th September.  The themes chosen hopefully meet the commission’s aims – with speakers asked to think broadly, and be interesting.

UPDATE: The first speaker confirmed is Gary Gale of Nokia, who will be giving the keynote entitled “History Repeats Itself And So Does The Map“. Also confirmed are Dr Ben Hennig (University of Sheffield) giving a presentation entitled “From geovisualisation to neocartography: Maps in a digital world”, and Richard Fairhurst (OSM Foundation) giving a global update on OpenStreetMap maps and data, entitled “The unstoppable advance of OpenStreetMap“. There will also be a number of ‘lightning talks’, including: Chris Watson on “Hyperreal Augmented Narratives“, and Graham Hooper with “Drawing on Psychogeography”. JUST ADDED: Prof Ifan Shepherd talks on “Maps – GIS – Experiential Engagement: a near-future timeline for Neocartography?”

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/3930371848 to book a place (Free)

Gary Gale: History has a habit of repeating itself and so does the map. From primitive scratchings, through ever more sumptuous pieces of art, through to authoritative geographical representations, the map changes throughout history. Maps speak of the hopes, dreams and prejudices of their creators and audience alike, and with the advent of neogeography and neocartography, maps are again as much art as they are geographical information.
Ben Hennig: This paper examines the state of the map in the digital world and the internet age about thirty years after digital technology has entered the broader cartographic practice. The main advances in most recent mapping techniques and methods of geospatial analysis are outlined. Based on that, suggestions for new directions of cartographic research and practice are made that take the implications of digital and internet technology into account. Based on the mapping techniques developed in this thesis, some examples are given of how digital and web technology could be used to improve the domain of cartographic practice for digital map publishing.
Prof Ifan Shepherd: Maps are a cornerstone of GIS, and a great deal of their future seems bound up with this more recent technology. An emerging direction for GIS – and thus of maps – is readily apparent in the alternative reality technology of videogames. In this presentation, I will propose a framework for the integration of GIS and videogame technology which seeks to extend the analytical role of the former by embracing the experiential engagement of the latter. In making this case, I will confront the supposedly ‘problematic’ issues of realism, fun, emotion and narrative which appear to be stumbling blocks in harnessing experiential engagement to assist the interpretation of virtual geographical environments.
Graham Hooper: My interest lies in the relationship between spaces (real and/or imagined) and their inter-relationship with emotional and behavioural states. I am operating from a semi-documentary stance, aware of the heritage of the American colourists and ‘New Topographers’ of the 1960/70’s.  Increasingly I am experimenting with modes of realisation that utilise mixed-media integration – images with inherent sounds and smells, or incorporating hand-drawn maps, for example. Most of my work exists in series, as sequential studies, and as such exist as typologies. I then re-present my work in its original context.
Chris Watson: The borders between the real and unreal are blurred. The faith we put into a manufactured landscapes, the trust we place in a machine for everything we do, where we go, getting up with alarm clocks, people running their lives from phones, are absorbed
by media. Augmented reality offers a further medium to enhance and exploit this fantasy and reliance on the machine of technology. I intend to show how augmented reality can integrate aspects of this media machine-fueled reality, or hyperreality as I suggest it becomes, to further enhance the world outdoors through the Creative Maps project.

Mapping Showcase

The Mapping Showcase at the Emirates Stadium on 1st December was a great event, if a rather long day. The keynote presentation entitled “Neocartography: the crowd and the cloud” seemed to go down well, with some positive comments afterwards. As promised the slides and a low-fi audio file are available. The Society of Cartographers stand was well manned and looking good with the two new banners. The SoC team was myself, Steve Eglinton, Miles Irving, Jenny Kynaston and Claire Iveson, taking turns to man the stand, visitor others, and watch the keynotes. We had a steady stream of visitors throughout the day, and some interesting contacts and conversations. We spent time scanning badge QR codes, and giving out details of SoC, and free Bulletins and Newsletters, plus details of the next SoC conference in Sept at UCL. I also had handouts on the ICA Commission on Neocartography to distribute to interested parties. We also doubled up as an OpenStreetMap showcase. Robert Scott and Gregory Marler helped me talk up the benefits of the project and demonstrate some of the features on our laptops (oh and plug Frederik, Jochen and my OSM book, which we had a sample of for viewing). A little disappointed that I couldn’t persuade anyone to go out and add even more OSM data around the stadium, but it was pouring with rain nearly all day. At the end of the day Steven, Miles, Gregory and I were part of the ‘Society of Topcon OpenStreetMap Cartographers’ team that got absolutely tonked at the Londonist quiz. I never knew I knew so little about the city I live in!

Having got this event behind me it is time to act on all the things that we discussed in Vienna at the recent very succesfull ICA Commission Chairs meeting. For Neocartography this will be twofold. Firstly, organising a full day workshop in London in September, and also a spring evening neocartography ‘showcase’ event (again probably in London). Any suggestions for other events are of course welcome, particularly if you can help coordinate, and can help by hosting elsewhere. Secondly, we will also be working on adding three new features to the Commission website shortly. They are: an events page, a research groups page, and a publications page.

UPDATE: Extra link about the Apple “schematics patent” point thrown in at end of the keynote. The patent application. A couple of blog comments on that patent, from Ken Field and Ed Parsons.

Upcoming meetings

Looking forward to going to Vienna for a couple of days later this week. It is for the ICA Commission Chairs meeting on 24/25th November. It should be a great gathering of the clan. We will be going through ICA expectations of us and also outlining our individual and group plans for the coming year. Also a chance to catch up with my mentor Menno-Jan Kraak, and also hopefully have in-depth discussions with co-vice-chair Manuela Schmidt. We will be discussing forthcoming activities for the commission. If you have any suggestions please feel free to put them in a comment to this post and they will be considered.

Next month I am giving one of the keynotes at the Mapping Showcase at the Emirates Stadium, London on 1st December. The title of my presentation is “Neocartography: the crowd and the cloud”. Full details are at http://www.londonmappingfestival.org/mapping-show-2011/. If you are within reach it looks like being a really good event, being part of the London Mapping Festival. As part of the same event I am working with a couple of OpenStreetMap collaborators on a “get out that door and map” activity, which will be hosted by Society of Cartographers (ie via our stand). We are getting sections of the OpenStreetMap printout made for the immediate area around the Emirates and will ask people to add geodata to it, and show them how easy it is to edit the map/database. There is loads of data on shops, pubs, even house addresses that can be added by doing a small amount of survey work. Hoping to show the power of crowdsourcing to some of the delegates.

A conference, but not as I know it ….

AGI Conference, East Midlands Conf Centre, Nottingham University 20-22nd Sept
This was the second time I have attended the AGI conference, having previously presented a paper there in 2009. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the w3g unconference the day beforehand, which sounded really good [see: vicchi’s blog post and GIScussions blog post]. So, an early start for a quick dash up the M1 for the 10-15am start. Just to show that SoC isn’t the only conference to suffer from the keynote blues, AGI actually had 2 out of the 3 initial keynotes pull out and had to do some rapid re-organising. AGI is quite big (440 delegates I believe this year) and has 5 parallel strands, which makes session choices hard. Fortunately, on this occasion the rooms were VERY close (unlike ICA in Santiago!) and the session chairs were briefed to work hard to keep to time and allow very brief changeovers WITHIN sessions, which was a blessing.

The first really good presentation was Bob Barr on the Public Data Corporation – important and good enough to have been a keynote in my view. I then attended 3 papers in the “safeguarding our future” strand – by presenters from British Transport Police, Greenspace Scotland and Snowflake Software. I had some issues with the symbology used by the police and the greenspacers. In the police case it was of their using heatmaps (with traditional circular spread as size increases) for what is basically linear data (following the railway lines). With the greenspace map it was the way they had kept to a limited palette (mainly green for obvious reasons) for their land classification, which looked fine and dandy in the key but which made for difficulties in interpretation on the map itself.

The highlights of day one for me were the two papers I attended in the “open alternative” session. Steven Feldman gave his take on how authoritive the crowd can be, before shamelessly plugging his upcoming project, which he is working on with the Centre for Geospatial Science, University of Nottingham (OSM-GB). Following this was a tour de force by Mark Illiffe, which won the audience vote for best conference presentation. Entitled “When Gov 2.0 Doesn’t Exist: Mapping Services in the Developing World”, it detailed work he had done in slums in Kenya, amongst other places – and was very thought-provoking on both the type of things being done (particularly in enabling data and knowledge gathering WITH the inhabitants) and their effect.

After the formal sessions came the soapbox, and the party, neither of which I’d attended last time as I was just a day visitor. The soapbox is basically a chance for extroverts to rant and swear a lot. It is held in the bar (with some free beers to lubricate the audience) and speakers have a 5 minute slot with slides provide in advance with fixed timings – 15 slides with 20 secs timings I think it was. You obviously have to have your speaking synched to the slides, else it can get very lonely out there. And being funny helps. Overall I was disappointed, I was expecting a funnier and more raucous affair somehow. The party was also an eye-opener, and showed the AGI’s corporate roots. There were more free beers, good hot buffet food and entertainment that I understand is standard at some corp events – a huge Scalextric set to race on, a bucking bronco machine to try out, and free gambling tables. I had an early night.

The first keynote of the second day was also one of my highlights. SoC president Danny Dorling gave a masterfull presentation on what he chose to call “twisted” maps. It was a comprehensive view of why using distorted map views (among them obviously the worldmapper cartograms, but many others I had not seen before) can be useful in analysing data [see: Ben Hennig’s blog for samples]. He was followed on by Vanessa Lawrence (DG and CEO of Ordnance Survey) who is always good value for money. Her enthusiasm and belief in the contribution that geography can make, combined with her pride in the OS were very evident. It was a very wide ranging talk covering developments in mapping through to the way OS is adapting to the era of Open Data.

The next session included what I thought were two of the weaker presentations I had seen. Maybe I was looking for something radically new, or was just conferenced-out. This all changed with the presentation by Warren Vick (Europa Technologies), which was boldly entitled “Improve your cartography – 10 tips for better on-screen maps”. There is not room to list the 10 tips here, but what I particularly liked was his resource links, some of which are were: Kuler – for generating color themes: http://www.adobe.com/products/kuler/; Stripe generator: http://www.stripegenerator.com/; Colorblindness simulator: http://colororacle.cartography.ch/.

The conference concluded with the 6th and 7th keynote speakers, both of whom were very engaging. Firstly, Kimberley Kowal (Lead Digital Curator at the BL) gave a beautifully illustrated talk using some of the fascinating maps from the British Library collection as her signposts. Finally, Gary Gale (Nokia), who presented at SoC Manchester, entertained with an amusing slide deck. His message was about place, context and the next generation of smarter location based applications.

My overall impression was of an interesting conference – both similar and yet very different to SoC. I am sure there is much that SoC members can give to the AGI community (and vice versa) and I encourage you to consider this as a conference to attend in future years. And there is certainly space for more “cartography” presentations to be given there. Hopefully I have highlighted some of the things of interest to forward looking cartographers, but as noted I felt it was missing any earth-shattering presentations with any particular WOW factor.

UPDATE: Steven Feldman’s blog on AGI conf [part 1part 2]. Conf twitter stream. Conf presentations and papers.