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Carto 2005: "Unfranchised" Cartographers

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Dr. Henry Castner, one of the original members of the CCA, presented the plenary session on the topic of "unfranchised" cartographers. In doing so he provided a brief retelling of the CCA's inception 30 years ago. Previous to the CCA, cartographic interests were subsumed by the Canadian Institute of Surveying. As the years progressed, it became increasingly apparent that an independent organization would need to be formed to adequately address cartographic interests. In the 1980s there were more than 3,000 interested cartographers in the country, all part of various organizations, including the CCA.

The founding of the CCA was meant to look after the interests of "unfranchised" cartographers - map historians, map librarians, theoretical cartographers, etc. Interest groups have sustained the CCA, in part because of their flexible definitions. In 1992, the CCA had more than 400 members. Now is has less than 200. How should the CCA address this? Are there still "unfranchised" cartographers?

Castner suggests that there are 4 groups:
  1. All the regional cartographic organizations have folded. There still may be some more localized interest in cartography that could be picked up.
  2. Cartouche should be expanded to include other related groups and carry their announcements. This is one way to expand its readership.
  3. Are theoretical cartographers a dying breed? How can we get the technology to do what we want it to do as opposed to what it is making us do? The democratization of cartography means that the cartographer has less control than before. The user can create his/her own maps. Perhaps theoretical cartography should have its own interest group.
  4. Children under 16. This is by far the largest group - but practically speaking, they won't be active participants. We should focus on what skills and concepts children are acquiring regarding maps. We need to reach out to teachers. Are there appropriate informal maps that children can make (as opposed to map-like objects)?

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