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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).

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