A weblog for members of the Canadian Cartographic Association and other individuals interested in all things cartographic

The Last Post

Because new time commitments and potential conflict of interest issues prevent me from maintaining this blog to the full extent that I would like, I regretfully must cease writing posts. Loyal subscribers and regular visitors will have noted a decline in the quality and the quantity of posts since I began my new job about 1 month ago. Any member of the Canadian Cartographic Association that is interested and willing to pick up the pieces and continue this blog is more than welcome to. Contact me directly at pheersink at gmail.com.

Even in Internet terms this blog has not been around that long: 18 months from start to finish. It was enjoyable writing and maintaining the blog and I am truly sorry to let it go. However, I take consolation in the fact that there are many worthwhile blogs out there; check out some of the links on the right side of the page.

Again, thanks for you feedback and comments. Some day, I'm sure, you’ll hear from me again.

Paul Heersink


Tracking My Days: Week 3

An update to the weekly movements. Another 1,200 kilometres, mostly taken up in commuting to and from work.

I earned that, no matter how hard I tried, I inevitably ended up taking many of the same roads, especially around home. See the map below (brighter lines indicate a higher frequency of travel along that route):


Geogratis Makeover

Geogratis, a staple of small site of small scale free gospatial Canadian data, has recently had a facelift. The data layers are now searchable by product and keyword or can be browsed via alphabetical list. All of this make its easier to search its data holdings. Also as part of the makeover is the addition of some new data - maps from the Glacier Atlas, for instance. However, there doesn’t seem to be a listing of what’s new. Data is still free but an email address is now required before downloading.


Cartographic Oddities

Strange Maps is a blog that focuses on odd maps, many that look on the world with redrawn boundaries or strange ideas. Some have been posted about in this blog already (the redrawn map of the Middle East, for instance); others I haven’t seen before, including Imperial Texas, Greater Albania or what Europe might have looked like (in French eyes) if the Germans had won the war. Also included is on example of an island shared by Finland and Sweden with a very odd boundary. Worth keeping an eye on.

By way of Great Map.


Paleogeographic Maps in GE

Ron Blakely’s amazing paleogeographic maps, mentioned in a previous post, have migrated, not surprisingly, to Google Earth. With GE latest version supporting animation, it only makes sense to use it as a vehicle to display changes in the earth’s surface. GE community member Valery Hronusov has ported the images into a downloadable GE file. This does much to make the ladforms in paleogeography more understandable.

By way of Google Earth Blog.


The CCA President’s Prize recognizes excellence in student map design and production and is open to all post-secondary students who have completed and produced a cartographic project in the preceding school year. The 2007 President’s Prize Competition will consist of two prizes of $100, one for entries from college-level or CEGEP students, and one for entries from university-level undergraduate students in the following category:

1. A quantitative thematic map on any subject. A quantitative thematic map, also called a special-purpose, single-topic, or statistical map, displays the spatial and structural characteristics of numerical data and usually presents a graphic theme about a single subject. The International Cartographic Association (ICA) defines the thematic map this way: “A map designed to demonstrate particular features or concepts. In conventional use this term excludes topographic maps” (Dent 1999, 8).

Entry Guidelines:

The cartographic project will consist of a single map. There are no restrictions on size but the project must have been completed and produced during the school year preceding the competition. Each entry must be accompanied by a clear and succinct statement of design objectives that will weigh heavily in the judges’ decision.

Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity and overall effectiveness in communication as well as excellence in compilation, design, and layout.

Entries for 2007 are invited from all Canadian post-secondary students. All entries should be accompanied by an official entry form found on the website of the CCA (www.cca-acc.org), and must be submitted no later than May 15, 2007 to the following address:

CCA President’s Prize
c/o Dr. Clifford H. Wood
P.O. Box 225
Ilderton, Ontario N0M 2A0

Le Prix du Président de l’ACC reconnaît l’excellence dans la conception et la production cartographiques par des étudiants. Tous les étudiants du niveau postsecondaire qui ont terminé et produit un projet cartographique au cours de l’année scolaire précédente sont admissibles. Le concours pour le Prix du Président 2007 décernera deux prix de 100$, un pour les soumissions de niveau collégial et un pour celles d’étudiants du premier cycle universitaire, dans la catégorie suivante :

Carte thématique quantitative de n’importe quel sujet. Une carte thématique quantitative, aussi appelée carte à sujet unique ou carte statistique, montre les caractéristiques spatiales et structurales de données numériques et présente habituellement un thème graphique d’un sujet unique. L’Association cartographique internationale (ACI) définie une carte thématique comme suit: «Une carte conçue pour démontrer des détails cartographiques ou concepts particuliers. Selon l’usage conventionnel ce terme exclut les cartes topographiques» (Dent 1999, 8).

Critères d’inscription :

Les projets cartographiques consisteront d’une seule carte. Il n’y a pas de restriction quant à la taille de la carte mais il faut que le projet ait été terminé et produit au cours de l’année scolaire précédant le concours. Chaque soumission devra être accompagnée d’un énoncé court et clair sur les objectifs de la conception de la carte. Cet énoncé sera crucial pour la décision du jury.

Les soumissions seront jugées selon la créativité et la façon dont le message est présenté ainsi que l’excellence de la préparation, la conception et la présentation du projet.

Le Président de l’ACC invite tous les étudiants canadiens de niveau postsecondaire à soumettre leur projet cartographique. Toutes les soumissions doivent être accompagnées d’un formulaire officiel de participation, disponible sur le site Web de l’ACC (www.cca-acc.org), et faire parvenir le tout, au plus tard le 15 mai 2007, à l’adresse suivante :

Prix du Président de l’ACC
a/s Dr. Clifford H. Wood
Case postale 225
Ilderton (Ontario) N0M 2A0


Prix Carto Québec Prize 2007

L’ACC a le plaisir d’annoncer du Prix Carto-Québec. Ce concours annuel, ouvert aux étudiants postsecondaire à travers le Canada, sera décerné pour le meilleur produit cartographique créé en français. Ce prix a été établi grâce à un don de l’ancienne Association Carto-Québec pour promouvoir et reconnaître l’excellence dans la conception des cartes. Le Prix Carto-Québec comprendra deux prix de 500$, l’un pour les soumissions de niveau collégial et l’autre pour le niveau du premier cycle universitaire.

Critères d’inscription :

Les projets cartographiques comprendront une carte ou une série de cartes formant un ensemble cohérent et pourront être soumis en version imprimée ou autre. Les soumissions électroniques, qu’elles comportent des applications SIG ou de l’Internet, ne doivent pas nécessiter de logiciel spécialisé pour les visualiser. Il n’y a aucune restriction concernant la taille ou le sujet de la carte, mais le projet doit avoir été fait au cours de l’année scolaire précédant le concours. Le projet doit être produit en français.

Les soumissions seront jugées selon la créativité et la façon dont le message est présenté, ainsi que l’excellence de la préparation, la conception et la présentation du projet.

Le Président de l’ACC invite tous les étudiants canadiens de niveau postsecondaire à soumettre leur projet cartographique. Toutes les soumissions doivent être accompagnées d’un formulaire officiel de participation, disponible sur le site Web de l’ACC (www.cca-acc.org), et faire parvenir le tout, au plus tard le 15 mai 2007, à l’adresse suivante :

Prix Carto-Québec
a/s Dr. Clifford H. Wood
P. O. Box 225
Ilderton, Ontario N0M 2A0

The CCA is pleased to announce the offering of the Carto-Québec Prize, a special annual competition for the best student-authored cartographic product created in French. The award has been established through a gift from the former Association Carto-Québec to promote and recognize excellence in map design. The competition is open to all post-secondary students in Canada who have completed and produced a cartographic project in the preceding school year. The Carto-Québec Prize will consist of two awards of $500, one for entries from college-level or CEGEP students, and one for entries from university-level undergraduate students.

Entry Guidelines:

Cartographic projects will consist of a map or a map series forming a coherent whole and may be submitted in any finished form (on paper or other medium). Entries submitted in electronic media, whether GIS or internet mapping applications, should not require specialized software for viewing. There are no restrictions on the size of the map project or subject but the project must have been completed and produced during the school year preceding the competition. All documents must be in French.

Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity and overall effectiveness in communication as well as excellence in compilation, design, and layout.

Entries for 2007 are invited from all Canadian post-secondary students. They should be accompanied by an official entry form, found on the website of the CCA (www.cca-acc.org), and must be submitted no later than 15 May, 2007 to:

Carto-Québec Prize
c/o Dr. Clifford H. Wood
P.O. Box 225
Ilderton, Ontario N0M 2A0


Earthquake Maps

The USGS, of course, has its own earthquake map - a map that tracks the latest earthquakes, their locations and magnitude, but the map has limited zoomability. Ask.com has a zoomable map of the world on which earthquake activity is displayed. Ask.com’s map is limited when compared to other maps provided by interactive mapping sites but does have a physical feature view, something the others don’t have. It appears that the issue of flooded land mentioned earlier in this blog has been cleared up.

Then, of course, there’s the ubiquitous Google Maps mashup of earthquakes - here and here, for instance.

By way of the Resource Shelf.


Color Palette Generator

DeGraeve.com has an interesting and useful little tool - not a cartographic tool for one that cartographers might find useful when completing a map layout. The Color Palette Generator takes any photo on the web and provides two palettes - one dull, one vibrant - of Pantone colors that match the colors in the image provided.

By way of Cartotalk.


Tracking My Days: Week 2

Not much time to blog, in part because of a 80 minute commute on either end of my work day and a week of buying and selling real estate. Another 900 kilometres of travel (less than the first week but still far too much) and an updated map that looks like this:
Note the scale of the map has changed compared to last week’s entry. (See below - for some reason links to individual posts do not seem to be working.)


Canada Map Office to Remain Open

Natural Resources Canada has reversed its earlier decision to suspend the printing of paper maps. According to GISuser and the CBC, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn had received a flood of letters protesting the decision to suspend the printing of the popular National Topographic Series maps.

Also check out the Map Room’s coverage.


Tracking My Days: Week 1

Tracking one’s movements using a GPS and mapping that for all the world to see is nothing new so this post really adds nothing to what has already been done. Those of you who have been following the blog will know that I have recent had a change in jobs, resulting in less time and energy for me to maintain this blog, among other things. The daily commute is about 110 kilometres each way. The map below (grid scale 5 kilometres) shows my movements for the past week (October 1 to 7) and already my commuting trail is already well worn. Also shown on the map are my movements around my hometown (in the upper right) and some movements around my workplace (in the lower left), including one day of real estate shopping. The bolder the colour, the more frequently the route travelled. Seven days, 1,443 kilometres. Doing my part (sadly) for global warming.
I plan on tracking my future movements, at least for the month. It should get a little more interesting than a daily commute. Travels to Chicago and Los Angeles are planned for later in the month. But we are all creatures of habit: the challenge would be take a different route to the office and back each day. In now time I would have many of the area’s road mapped (sort of a single handed effort to bring OpenStreetMaps to Canada.


Storybook England

Enjoy England, the department tasked with promoting England as a tourist destination, has created a site called StorybookEngland that plots the locations of children’s books and stories on a map of England. When a story or book on the lsit is clicked on, the locations upon which the story is based (however loosely) appear on the map. Clicking on a location leads to a more detailed more where a number of further links lead to details about the story. There hotlinks direct users to tourist pages for the actual physical locations. Enough to make one think that England’s major export are good children’s stories. A paper copy of the map can also be ordered (but the link to the pdf version currently is unavailable).

By way of Cartotalk.


Map Rectifier

Map Rectifier is a free online map geo-referencing tool produced by MetaCarta Labs. It is very simple to use. Users upload a map to be georeferenced, then add control points to the original map and a reference map. Georeferenced images can then be downloaded in tif format for use in other applications. MetaCarta Labs “offers experimental tools that are not yet commercially supported, so they may disappear without warning or perform erratically.” A number of georeferenced examples are available online.

By way of Geowanking. See also Fantom Planet and Tanto.


Poverty Atlas

The Center for International Earth Science Information Network has released an atlas entitled Where the Poor Are: An Atlas of Poverty. The atlas, available as a pdf download, covers a number of aspects of poverty including infnat mortality, hunger, poverty gaps and inequality and looks at these factors on both a global, regional and national scale, the latter being broken down by subnational jurisdictions to varying degrees of refinement. The maps are mostly choropleth maps. The atlas can also be requested in hard copy format.

From the atlas web page: “According to Marc Levy, Associate Director for Science Applications at CIESIN, these maps and data sets help broaden the understanding of the relationship between poverty and geography — beyond the more common urban-rural framework. ‘The revolutionary advances in poverty mapping have made it possible to be precise about things we used to only generalize about,’ says Levy. ‘Connections between poverty and climatic conditions, soil fertility, exposure to natural disasters, access to transportation networks, and other important drivers, are beginning to come into sharp relief.’”

Much of the data used in the creation of the atlas maps are also available in shapefile format.

By way of Declan Butler, Reporter


NG Maps Available On Demand

Now you can complete that National Geographic map collection that is missing the one elusive map. National Geographic has partnered with Maps.com, the self-proclaimed world’s largest map store (previously mentioned in this blog), to make its catalog of maps available for purchase. Customers can browse through the extensive National Geographic map collection, select one and have it printed and/or laminated by Maps.com. Costs vary, of course, depending on size but are generally in the area of $50 - $60 US. This doesn’t include shipping. Old musty smells of maps and magazines long packed away in someone’s attic not included.

By way of Maps-L


Maps for Canadians

As reported earlier in this blog, Natural Resources Canada is discontinuing the printing of its topographic map series. This is making many people unhappy. A website has been set up called Maps for Canadians that directs those who are upset enough about the situation to a number of recommended actions, including writing your Member of Parliament. On the bright side, those who have access to a large format printer will be able to print their own maps. Unfortunately, these printers do not go cheap and are not something that an individual would likely buy.


Map Designers' Conference

(By way of the Society of Cartographers email list)

Announcing a new British Cartographic Society event

November 17th, 2006 Glasgow.

The world of Cartography is changing beyond all recognition. It is no longer dominated by a few specialists in major companies or national organisations. The explosion of non-cartographic map makers has brought a vibrancy and freshness to the subject, the like of which has never been seen before.

This presents two opportunities. Firstly an opportunity for the cartographic profession to learn from, and hopefully to incorporate, the graphic and artistic skills so abundant in other disciplines; and to benefit from the contribution Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has made to the industry. Secondly, there is an opportunity for the cartographic profession to explain some of the principles cartographers use when making maps. Cartographers have not been making maps for over 5000 years without learning a thing or two in the process. And yet for all the skills these diverse groups have brought to bear on map making, from GIS to map-Art, there remains one crucial problem. Most people can't read the maps they produce.

For the first time in the UK, and probably worldwide, this seminar will bring together cartographic designers, and designers from the world of media and GIS, to discuss how to make maps effective, exciting, irresistible and . . . readable.

Anyone who commissions maps, or who is involved in the making of maps, whether from GIS data of the imagination of the artist will be welcome at 'The Map Designers’ seminar. The seminar is designed for architects, surveyors, tourism, foresters, utilities, earth scientists, cartographers, graphic artists, and government; in fact every branch of society that uses or creates maps.

We would especially like to welcome students from Scotland, the North East and further afield, with our incredible deal - £15 for a once in a lifetime seminar! This amazing concessionary price is also open to all on proof of eligibility, i.e. unemployed, retired, BCS Associate Members etc...

So here it is:-

The Lighthouse
Scotland's Centre for Architecture and Design Glasgow
17th NOVEMBER 2006


Chaired by Michael Wood OBE. Aberdeen University.
President of the Society of Cartographers.
Past President of the International Cartographic Association, and the British Cartographic Society.


Alan Collinson FBCart.S Geo-Innovations.
Co-Convener of the British Cartographic Society Design Group:
The Principles of Cartographic Design, Cartographic Impressionism and Map Art.

Mary Spence MBE FBCart.S, Global Mapping.
President of the British Cartographic Society:
The Qualities of Better Mapping.

Dave Barbour FBCart.S, Stirling Surveys. International Award Winner:
Maps People Can Read Easily. Design for Recreation and Orienteering.

Wendy Price, Wendy Price Cartographic Services:
Map Making as an Art.

Susie Jones FBCart.S, Senior Lecturer at the School of Military Survey.
Co-Convener of the British Cartographic Society Design Group:
GIS and Map Design.

Paul Stickley Head of Media Design, Glasgow School of Art:
To be confirmed.

OPEN FORUM: Map Designers Talking.

Cost: £50 (BCS and SOC members £45, Students and concessions £15).

Details and booking from Lynda Bailey
Cartographer and Map Librarian
FCO Library
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH


Information Visualization

Information Visualization is an irregularly published e-zine that discusses information visualization topics. Though very few of its issues discuss mapping, many of its subjects would be of interest to cartographers. The latest issue, for instance, discusses colour and colour usage. The e-zine’s contributors are many but those most well-known to cartographers include Edward Tufte and Alan MacEarchren.

All 183 issues of the e-zine, available in both English and Spanish, are available online. Subscription to the e-zine is free.


MapQuest Drops Paper Maps

The MercuryNews has a short story about Mapquest dropping its printed map publishing business to focus solely on its digital presence. “MapQuest published its first road map for free distribution at gas stations in 1967 when it launched as a division of R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago. The company produces more than 1.5 billion pages of printed maps every year.”



Mark Harrower of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has worked with Cindy Brewer on the popular ColorBrewer tool. He is currently working on another cartographic tool called MapShaper that will simplify shapefiles according to one of 3 algorithms. The Flash tool allows the user to upload a shapefile, set the simplification parameters, and view and compare the results with the original file. The result can be savedas a shapefile. The tool is currently in beta mode. Check the MapShaper blog for updates.

According to a University of Wisconsin-Madison news story, “Harrower has created a fleet of public domain software programs that help mapmakers with fundamental tasks such as selecting colors, filtering data, representing change and generalizing lines.” Other interesting tools of his include Visual Benchmarks that looks at animated maps and EarthSystemsVisualizer, an animated tool focusing on climate systems (works in IE).


Geographical Radio

Wondering what’s playing on the radio in your neighbourhood? Or on the other side of the country? Yes.com has put together a simple real-time Flash map of 150 radio stations that shows what songs each station is playing. (Currently only U. S. stations)

By way of information aesthetics


Two New Sites

Two new cartography /geospatial sites now grace the Internet: Cartography Online and Free GIS Data GeoBlog.

Cartography Online intends to provide news, forums and links to the cartography community. The offerings are currently sparse (since it is new) and it seems to provide some competition for existing sites (e.g. CartoTalk in particular and other news-focused geo-spatial sites). No advertsiements here (yet).

Free GIS Data GeoBlog is a blog but utilizes Blogger’s new labels (tags - something I have yet to do) to categorize geospatial data sources by geographic area. A number of data sources are already listed, most of them American. Glenn of GISUser has initiated this effort.


NYC Transit Maps

NYCSubway.org has a number of maps of New York City bus lines and subway lines. These maps include scans of route maps dating back to 1888 and come in various sizes, mostly in jpeg format. Also included are maps of track locations that would probably be more of interest to the railroad aficionado.

See also previous entry Subway Map by Committee.

By way of Plep


Leventhal Map Center

The Boston Public Library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center has a collection of over 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlas, some of which are available online at a splashy new site. There is much to explore here, including a couple of beautifully put together online tours (Faces and Places and Journeys of the Imagination - blogged about here earlier), a map of the month ( this month it is a map of Boston from 1777), a focus on maps in the news (currently it is an indepth look at Iraq using maps), and, of course, various maps from the collections. All maps are in Zoomify format and the highest resolution is quite impressive. Many maps are available online; the search tool is perhaps the best way to make your way through this collection. Happily this collection also includes recently produced maps.

See also Designorati’s post on the Map Center.

By way of MapHist


Changes Afoot for the Blog

The CCAblog is now approaching 1 1/2 years of age and regular attracts more than 500 people a day on weekdays. There are many regular readers that provide positive feedback, suggest links and items of interest. To date, it has been pretty much a solo effort, driven by a personal love of maps and an interest in new technologies and developments in the field.

Because of an upcoming change in employment circumstances I am afraid that I will no longer be able to dedicate as much time to it as I currently do. As well, since my new employer is a private company, there are some concerns of a potential conflict of interest.

I would very much like to see the blog continue. To that end, I am seeking a person or persons who would be willing to assist me in maintaining the blog. Interested individuals would need to be a member of the Canadian Cartographic Association (this being the CCA’s web log - membership is a mere $90 a year, tax deductible in Canada, at least - pdf form here), have an interest in new developments, a love of all things cartographic, and be willing to spend some time each day searching for items of interest and writing about them. Such a commitment need not be as time consuming as my own; with a number of interested people it might require only 15 or 30 minutes each a day.

If you are interested in seeing this web log continue or would like more information, feel free to contact me at ccablog@yahoo.ca.

In the mean time, I will continue to post as much as possible; just expect a little less in volume, at least for the short term. (And, for those of you who know me and want to know what I will be up to, drop me a note!)


Broer Map Library

The Broer Map Library is a cooperative endeavour that seeks to provide libraries and other organizations with online access to a large map collection. Founded in 2002 and housed in Ellington, Connecticut, the map collection has grown through donations of unused maps to its current size of 40,000. The collection has a wide variety of street maps, roads maps, historical and military maps from the past 300 years. The goal of the collection is to expand to include over 100,000 maps in the next five years.

Some of these maps are available online in a Zoomify format. These are organized geographically. The online collection is rather spotty and haphazard and map scans are sometimes missing parts or edges (for more complete scans, an email request can be made). Nevertheless, the online collection is expectyed to grow and is worth keeping an eye on. The site states that free registration is required to access the maps but I found this not to be the case.

By way of COMPASS


This week seems to be the week for users of free geographic viewing software. Earlier this week Live Local released an upgrade that allows users to create and save their own data online (not at all as GIS friendly items but only as “dumb” graphics) and georeference existing raster maps (using MSR MapCruncher).

Yesterday Google released a version 4 (beta) of its popular Google Earth software. The listing of new features can be found on its website and includes alot of eye candy for the masses (e.g. 3D buildings) but also some features that would interest more geospatially savvy users (e.g. WMS capabilities and time sensitive image overlays).

And yet to be released is ESRI’s entry in the field, ArcGIS Explorer. James Fee expects this to come out this week but, as he reminds us on his blog, he doesn’t work for ESRI so that “any day” could mean this week or next week or the week after. Even more so than Google Earth, Live Local or World Wind, this looks like it will be very GIS friendly.

All in all, there are enough free tools out there to keep any geospatial nerd happy . . . for a while.


Live Local Steps Up

Microsoft’s Live Local has recently been upgraded (already reported on by the Map Room and others) , making it easier to draw one’s own points, lines and areas on the supplied base map. The new tools, discussed at length in the Windows Live Local blog, make it easy to add, save and share user drawn features, including photos, links and comments. Now, if only you could add in already existing geospatial files like ESRI’s Arcweb . . . .


Park Symbols

In the map creation process, a sizable amount of time can be devoted to making the right symbols. It is always worthwihle, then, to be able to draw on the work of others when possible. The U. S. National Park Service has a number of symbols and patterns available in Adobe Illustrator and PDF formats.

See also previous posting on Pictograms.

By way of The Map Room


Breathing Earth

Breathing Earth is a Flash map of the world that displays the carbon dioxide emission levels, birth and death rates of each country in “real-time.” Mousing over a country brings up population, emission levels and birth and death rates for that country. An effective and interesting map, complete with sound effects.

By way of information aesthetics


Google Maps Past and Present

By now, the latest updates to Google Maps is old news, already covered by the likes of Google Maps Mania and Google Earth Blog. There have been siginificant updates to the collection of high resolution images covering parts of the United States, Japan, Norway and New Zealand.

Perhaps equally interesting is being able to compare between various Google Maps releases. Mike Williams has set up a webpage that enables users to compare two versions of Google Maps - either in satellite or in map mode. He has provided me with a listing of when the updates occurred, at least for the past 6 releases (all gleaned from the Google Earth blog):
  • Satellite 5 : Mar 23 2006
  • Satellite 6 : Apr 19 2006
  • Satellite 7 : Jun 08 2006 Google Earth, Jun 21 2006 Google Maps
  • Satellite 8 : Jul 18 2006
  • Satellite 9 : Jul 27 2006
  • Satellite 10 : Sep 08 2006
Google Earth and Google Maps were updated coincidentally in most cases in the past year. This is where some metadata would come in handy. The above listing tells users when imagery became available in Google Maps but fails to tell them when the imagery was taken. That would make Mike Williams’ side by side comparison page even more useful.

By way of Map GIS News Blog for UK, Europe and World Maps


Improving Map Skills

The UK’s Ordnance Survey has had a program in place for a few years in which they provide 11 year olds with a free map. For the past five years, the OS has handed out, on request by teachers, a 1:25,000 Explorer Map to students for their own keeping. The program has had a desired effect on map reading skills and geography knowledge, according to a number of studies. “Altogether, 17 separate studies have been carried out into the progress of the initiative, showing that it has significantly fostered the teaching and learning of geography and extended pupils' understanding and enthusiasm for using maps. The research found that since the launch of the initiative:
  • the number of pupils confident in their understanding of maps has doubled;
  • the number of pupils who enjoy using maps has trebled;
  • the proportion of children who perceive maps as important has doubled; and
  • 98% of teachers say the scheme had been ‘beneficial’ to geography teaching and learning in their school. ”
The studies also showed that children who walked or biked to school had better map reading skills than those who were driven. As well as being a great educational program, this initiative is also a smart - albeit longterm - marketing approach.

Read the story in politics.co.uk (IE only; this page doesn’t like Firefox).


Search this Blog:
CCABlog Web

About me

CCA Website

Past Popular Blog Entries

Last posts



ATOM 0.3

Locations of visitors to this page

More blogs about cartography.
Technorati Blog Finder