Browser Cartography: A Manifesto

“Toner” tiles by Stamen Design

Bill Morris, Geosprocket, LLC

Hear me out for a minute . . .
. . . I’d like you to make maps intended for online viewing. 

This is partially a selfish impulse; I’m going to throw a rock through the window if I see another “PDF Download” link masquerading as a web map. I’d also like you to do this to save a few trees from their 24″-by-36″-poster fate, but mostly it’s because we’re at an inflection point in cartography . . .

. . . I think the public – the folks who show up to input forums for development projects, and who want to know how far it is to the next lean-to on the trail – are now fully-literate in maps. Mapquest started this process and Google advanced it, but now there are tools beyond those to help you engage your audience on computers and mobile devices (No, Trimble, I am not referring to the Juno. Screw that.). Many of these tools happen to be open-source . . .

See Bill’s blog for the rest of this article:


One Response to Browser Cartography: A Manifesto

  1. Gary Smith says:

    Decades ago the argument was, “What is the definition of a GIS?” We all had 35 mm slides or overhead transparencies at the beginning of our talks that staked a claim at defining this technology. Today, who cares? Our goal is to share information with others. Is that not also the case for a map shared on the web? The creator is trying to share information in the way they know how or fits their time constraints. Chastising someone for their method seems unnecessary. Technology is always changing. Trying to define the best web map is a moving target. What is best today will be in the Smithsonian tomorrow. What has not changed is our willingness to share information. Let’s celebrate this trait by encouraging people to communicate freely.

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