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Cartography as High School Project

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A 15 year old high school student from Piedmont, California took on the task of producing a map of his town as part of his school work. The map seems to be moderately successfully, selling at $4 a piece. What is interesting are some of the comments made in the ContraCostaTimes news story. “Making maps was not the teen’s first choice for a new internship, but ‘it didn't sound too horrible,’ he said.”

The sotry goes on to say “To begin, Jensen said a basic map of Piedmont was downloaded off a generic map site. From there, the map must be independently verified as to its accuracy. Then work begins on adding parks and other community sites that would be included. To trip up copyright violators, oftentimes cartographers include a ‘bunny’ on the map, a fictitious feature planted somewhere on the map. There are no ‘bunnies’ in the Piedmont map, but there is a symbol hidden in it, the pair said.”

Any “generic map site” would, I’m sure, be a little unhappy about their maps being used as a base for a commercial product. Furthermore, unless the base is truly copyright free, it is a little ironic that Jensen would be including “bunnies” (I’ve never heard them called that) to trip up people who might want to copy the map.

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