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Commission proposed to stimulate neocartography

UK: The British National Committee for Cartography has proposed to establish an International Cartographic Association (ICA) Neocartography Commission and nominated Steve Chilton (Middlesex University, UK) as its first Chair.

The draft proposal highlights instances where new and innovative mapping is being produced outside the normal orbit of existing cartographers or map producers. The term neocartographers is being used to describe map makers who may not have come from traditional mapping backgrounds and are frequently using open data and open source mapping tools. Another difference is in the blurring of boundaries between map producers and map consumers. The availability of data and tools allows neocartographers to make their own maps, show what they want, and often be the intended audience as well – that is to say they may make the maps for themselves, just because they can. There is a real need for a discipline to be established to study this essentially undisciplined field of neocartography.

This proposal for a new commission would stimulate and bring together research in this area. The aim would be to connect ICA and researchers (and practitioners) involved in this new style of mapping who are not currently interacting with the organisation. The idea would be to develop a commission that would seek wider involvement from these cartographers (who may not even think of themselves as such).

This Commission would be both academic and practical. The aim is to encourage a more active engagement between cartographers and other individuals/groups in society engaged in new (and often ephemeral) mapping activities.

Agenda for 2011-2015 includes:
– Investigation of the emergence of neocartography and develop a web site to act as a shop window and reference point for researchers and practitioners in this area,
– Organising sessions at future ICA conferences (commencing with ICC2013 in Dresden) and collaborate and with representatives of other disciplines and ICA Commissions in meetings and seminars (eg. Maps and Society),
– Organising specialist conferences/workshops on topics related to neocartography. These would be local meetings to encourage ICA participation from groups who might not normally do so,
– Encouraging publication in this area, specifically publication in what may be considered traditional cartography journals – such as the Cartographical Journal, Society of Cartographers Bulletin, and Cartographica,
– Supporting research into, creation of, and dissemination of information about appropriate web-tools,
– Holding joint meetings with mapping and allied communities. In the first four years these might focus upon participatory community mapping and map design.

Source: www.soc.org.uk