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

Carto 2005 Draws to a Close

Another CCA conference is hust about over. The last, session-packed day was filled with a number of interesting presentations, including discussions on the teaching of cartography/GIS, a look back at historical maps of Newfoundland and St. John's, and the scanning, georeferencing and analysis of historical maps.

The winner of the best student paper competition was announced. Paul Light, a student of the Centre of Geographic Sciences, beat out 2 other students for his paper entitled "The Evolution of the Nautical Chart: 13th to 19th Century."

Thanks go to the conference organizers to a fabulous conference. Hope to see everyone in Ottawa in 2006.


Carto 2005: Banquet

The CCA held its annual banquet, traditionally an opportunity to honour those within our community who have served either the CCA and/or the greater cartographic community.
Before such honours were spoken of, this year's orienteering champion was announced. Tim Wykes placed first, having collected all but one of the possible flags during the competition. He's hoping that this victory makes up for the time in Victoria when he did one flag, then went to the pub, leaving organizers fretting over where he was when he didn't report back at the end of the competition.
Four awards of distinction were given at the banquet. Gary McManus, long-time Cartouche editor, was presented with an award for exceptional contribution to the CCA.

The Canadian Geographic magazine, represented by its staff cartographer, Steven Fick, received an award for exceptional contribution to the preactice of cartography.

Judy Olson was awarded with an award for exceptional scholarly contribution to cartography.

Another award, the award for exceptional contribution to the CCA, was awarded to Monika Rieger. This award was to have been presented in 2004 but since Monika could not attend that session, it was delayed for a year. Unfortunately, Monika was unable to attend this session as well.


Carto 2005: CCA Annual General Meeting

Henry Castner had to be hunted down and dragged to the meeting before quorum could be achieved. Shoe sizes of those attending ranged from 6 to 11. The various executive members provided reports of their activities over the past, beginning with Christine Earl, the president. Parameters were developed to disburse the Carto-Quebec funds in the form of a prize; unfortunately, no entries were received this year. Parameters were also developed for the awards of distinction and honourary membership.

Membership is up slightly this year to 169 from 165. The executive was challenged to bring in new members. Claire Gosson was convinced that she brought in the most members so Rick presented her with a new Harley-Davidson. Three organizations / people were selected for awards of distinction, to be presented at tonight's banquet.

The financial situation of the CCA has improved somewhat from the previous year, primarily from profits from the Victoria conference in 2003. A fairly large sum of money that was set aside for the banquet for the last conference in Newfoundland 7 years ago was put on the books as well for last. The company that catered the event went bankrupt and never invoiced the CCA. Hence, the "extraordinary deposit." However revenues from membership dues is declining. Cartographica's expenses were higher, primarily because it has been published on time. A substantial amount of money was lost at last year's conference at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay. The Nicholson Scholarship is not currently self-sustaining.

There is discussion that Cartographica may be having an on-line home in 2006. Details to follow at a later date.

Some amendments to the CCA's constitution were made. These were fairly minor and were meant to only clarify the intent of the constitution.

Attendance at this year's conference was reported to be just under 90. Next year's conference is to be held in Ottawa in conjunction with the GeoTec event and the Atlas of Canada's 100th anniversary on Monday, June 19 to Wednesday, June 21, 2006. Registration fees for CCA members will be in the normal CCA conference fee range. ACMLA, CIG, 2 ICA commissions, Ontario Lands Surveyors, URISA, CAG and others may attend as well. NRCAN and Libraries and Archives Canada are providing support. It will be held at the Ottawa Conference Centre. The gala will be held at the Museum of Civilization. There will also be workshops on Sunday, June 18, 2006. Plans for the 2007 conference are still up in the air.


Background on Hans Island

The ownership of the island is disputed as it is claimed by both Canada and Denmark. They failed to settle the issue when borders were drawn between Canada and Greenland in 1973. The border is established in the delimitation treaty about the Continental Shelf between Greenland and Canada, ratified by the United Nations on December 17, 1973, and in force since March 13, 1974. At that time, it was the longest shelf boundary treaty ever negotiated and may have been the first ever continental shelf boundary developed by a computer program.

The Government of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Government of Canada, having decided to establish in the area between Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Islands a dividing line beyond which neither Party exercising its rights under the Convention on the Continental Shelf of April/29/1958 will extend its sovereign rights for the purpose of exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the continental shelf...

The treaty list 127 points (latitude and longitude) from Davis Strait to the end of Robeson Channel, where Nares Strait runs into Lincoln Sea, to draw geodesic lines between, to form the border. The treaty does not, however, draw a line from point 122 (80° 49' 2 - 66° 29' 0) to point 123 (80° 49' - 66° 26' 3), a distance of 875 metres. Hans Island is situated in the centre of this area.

The above was taken from wikipedia. It just goes to show you: it pays to have good, complete treaties AND good maps to go along with it.


As with every CCA conference in memory, there has been an orienteering event organized by Diana Hocking. This year it was in Bowring Park at the south end of St. John's. The winners will be announced at tonight's banquet. Participants await instructions . . . .
. . . and listen to a brief overview of the park and it's history.


Carto 2005: Vendor Displays and Lunch

CCAers enjoy the vendor display, student maps and morning coffee break.

Lunch was provided, courtesy of various sponsors.Bob O'Neil of NRCAN talked about a number of things, including the latest tiff with Denmark over Hans Island.


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)?


Carto 2005: Opening Remarks

Dan Duda, conference organizer and Memorial University map librarian, makes some opening remarks.
Christine Earl, our fearless president, follows up with some more opening remarks and an introduction to Henry Castner, the plenary speaker. She expresses a hope that he might be able to shed some light on the CCA's obscure logo.

CCA members at the plenary session.


Carto 2005: Icebreaker Reception

The icebreaker reception was held in the cozy confines of the Newman Wine Vaults, one of St. John's oldest buildings.


Edie Punt of ESRI provided a preview of some of the cartographic enhancements being made in ArcGIS 9.2, currently in pre-beta development and scheduled to be released in early 2006. The focus of the enhancements centres on the use of representations, a more advanced form of the currently existing layers feature in ArcGIS.

Representations are meant to be used in high-end cartographic products and offer the user flexibility and consistency in how their data is symbolized, similar to layers. What is news is that representations are rule-based and are stored inside the geodatabase. These rules can be overridden; indeed, individual features can be selected on the map and symbolized differently than the other features in the same category. As well, an alternate geometry can be created specifically for mapping purposes and stored without impacting the spatial integrity of the underlying data. Symbology can be manually altered for specific cases, for example, adjusting the positioning of dashes on a line. In fact, features can be treated much like graphics in a graphics program: they can be sized, rotated, shaped and symbolized individually all without affecting the underlying database. Those familiar with Adobe Illustrator will recognize many of the tools and features that 9.2 will have to offer.

A representation is made up of two parts: a symbol layer and a geometric effect. A symbol layer can be one of three types - fill, stroke or marker. Multiple symbol layers can be used to represent a data layer. A geometric effect dynamically processes geometry before it is drawn. This includes such things as simplifying a line. Geometric effects can work on all symbol layers or just one and can work sequentially. Lines can be made to appear simplified or offset from their original position, all without affecting the underlying database.

All of the properties of a representation are mapped to a specific field and the resulting field acts as a lookup table. Another field can track manual overrides. As a result, the data ends up driving the symbology while still allowing the user to retain control over the appearance of all the features.


Carto 2005: Registration & Map Display

Registration for Carto 2005 begins with another nice bag to add to the collection. As of July 21st, there were 86 registrants.
The organizing committee also took time to set up a great map display of historical maps of Newfoundland from the collection of Fabian O'Dea.
Also posted are some of the CCA's contributions to this year's ICA map competition, including the prize-winning Toronto map.


Carto 2005 begins!

From lovely St. John's, Newfoundland, the Canadian Cartographic Association's annual conference begins today. Check the blog regularly for news and photos!


Carto 2005 updates to come

Visit the CCABlog for regular photo and text updates on the happening at the CCA’s annual conference to be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland next week.


City of Toronto Map Wins 2 Awards

The city map of Toronto, City of Toronto Building Construction Date received two awards as part of the Canadian cartographic display - International Map Exhibit for the International Cartographic Conference (ICA) 2005 in Coruña Spain. The first award it received was given by the judging panel for the best map in the 'Urban Map Category' and the second from the attending
delegates and was based on popular vote. The cartographer is Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) member Patricia Morphet of the Survey and Mapping Services of the City of Toronto. This map shows a snapshot of growth trends in the city of Toronto using year building information from assessment data. The information presented is of interest to those in the construction and planning fields or those interested in historical geography. This map was featured on cover of latest issue of Cartouche, Number 58, Summer 2005 and on the ESRI website.

The map of Toronto will be on display at Carto 2005, St. John’s Newfoundland, Memorial University of Newfoundland, July 26th to 30th along with all of the other cartographic entries that were chosen to be part of the Canadian Cartographic Exhibit. The Canadian Cartographic Map Exhibit will be donated to Memorial University after the conference.

Congratulations to Patricia Morphet, the City of Toronto Surveys and Mapping Services and to all of this year’s contributors to the 2005 Canadian Cartographic Exhibit. A special thanks also to GeoAccess Division, Natural Resources Canada for its continued support of the Canadian Cartographic Exhibit over the past many years.

Claire Gosson and Diane Lacasse
Co-Chairs - Canadian Cartographic Exhibit Committee for ICA 2005


Google Maps & Hurricane Data

Here’s another site that makes use of Google Maps as it's base map. It displays hurricane tracks and data from 1851 on. Clicking on a storm centre provides the user with positional, atmospheric pressure, storm category, location and wind speed data. It even has Hurricane (now Tropical Depression) Emily's position as of 09:00 this morning.


Iraq War Fatalities Map

Tim Klimowicz has put together a flash map of Iraq showing U. S. and coalition troop fatalties since the beginning of the war up until june 27, 2005. this is a work in progress, detailed and well put together. Unfortunately, the map does not include Iraqi deaths, presumably because the data for these deaths was unreliable and inconsistent.


Google Maps - WMS Integration

Google Maps is taking the first steps at becoming OGC compatbile. A couple of examples already exist on the web that demonstrate this capability and a java script is available for use to make this happen.

For an interesting perspective on the direction that Google Maps is headed as compared to ESRI, for example, read Hobu’s opinion piece.


GeoProject USA

Earlier in this blog, initiatives such as the Degree Confluence Project and Geograph were written about. Now some folks have taken the idea of snapping a photo at set intervals across the planet a step further. GeoProject USA seeks to have photos taken at every whole minute confluence, meaning that 4,554,000 locations across the U. S. would need to be visited and photographed. Will photographing second locations be far behind?


Mapping in Britian

This article in the Guardian is a few months old but still of interest. The article cites projects such as the London Free Map that seems to be a co-operative and collective attempt at mapping London. Interesting initiative.


Mapping Worlds

Mapping Worlds hosts a set of development-related maps, including maps of migration and movement, development aid and debt. The site professes to raise “international awareness through innovative cartography.” In this case, that would be mostly cartograms. Some of the maps are in Dutch; the gender equality map, displayed at left, for instance, is in Dutch. Darker blue colours indicate fewer girls attend school; the size of the country indicates the number of students.


Cascadia Maps

Northwest Environment Watchprovides reports, story ideas, commentary, expert sources, and analysis on the Cascadia Scorecard trends and regional solutions.” It also has a collection of interesting maps relating to urban growth and infrastructure issues. some of the maps are animated gifs showing the urban development of various Cascadia cities. These maps make a case for the presence of more animated gifs on the web.


Bovine Map projection released

Adequate for world maps and more localized maps . . .


Google Earth

Google released its latest mapping incarnation last week with Google Earth. For those of you already familiar with Google Maps, Google Earth will come as now surprise. It is essentially a rotatable, zoomable and tiltable globe of the earth composed of satellite images, similar to World Wind, reviewed earlier in this blog. Compared to World Wind, however, the controls are easier to use and more intuitive. The basic version of Google Earth is free to download.

To the left is an image of St. John’s, Newfoundland using Google Earth.

For more information on Google Earth, check out some other reviews:


GPS Traceroute Maps

Cartography is sometimes a matter of perspective. A couple of individuals have taken it on themselves to record their every location and mapping that. One person recorded every biking and walking route he took in New York City for a year and came up with this. Another person took his GPS along wherever he went and produced something similar - although this person seems to have travelled a little more globally. This person's travels have been broken up by year and even by month. It even includes airline holding patterns.

What would our own travel maps look like? And how much would our travels be influenced by the awareness that we are creating such a map?


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