NACIS 2015 has ended
Welcome to NACIS 2015 in Minneapolis! This is the annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). The theme for this year’s meeting is Mapping Interactions. See the schedule below and go to the NACIS website for more details.

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

For those of you who were unable to attend the conference, or who couldn’t clone themselves to be at multiple talks at once, many slides are linked in the session descriptions below. Twin Cities local Kitty Hurley also put together this fantastic document summarizing much of what she saw at the meeting, so if slide decks aren’t linked, check out her notes. 
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Thursday, October 15 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Elements of Design

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Type on Maps: All the Little Things that Actually Matter
Elaine Guidero, Penn State
Type on maps: just slap on some Arial for your labels (Times New Roman italic for the rivers) and call it a day, right? Wrong! Find out what your choice of type actually says about you. Okay, maybe it doesn't say a whole lot about you, but typefaces are full of designed details (called "microaesthetics") that, together, make a graphic statement and influence the semantic effect, or "feel," of a map. In this session, I present the initial results of my dissertation project, an in-depth survey about cartographic typography intended to reveal similarities and differences between typefaces due to microaesthetics. I'll discuss the nature of microaesthetics, and how to look for them and take them into account when choosing typefaces.

Every Pixel Counts: Web Map Symbols for the National Park Service
Jake Coolidge, Colorado State University/National Park Service
Clear, legible symbols are essential for any map depicting many features simultaneously. The National Park Service has a long tradition of building a coherent, visually related set of pictographic symbols that highlight a wide variety of visitor amenities and features within the system. This talk will focus in particular on the efforts of NPMap, the web mapping team for the NPS, to adapt these pictographic symbols for use in web maps. As we do so, we encounter new possibilities and challenges unique to this medium. Special design considerations and modifications have to be made to assure both legibility and visual balance with our basemaps, while providing map users with an immediate window into Places, our ever-improving geospatial database of NPS features. This presentation will provide an overview of our efforts to date, discuss upcoming design directions, and hopefully benefit any cartographer engaged in creating custom web map symbols.

Visualizing Ten Years of Quantitative Color Schemes
Travis White, University of Kansas
Terry Slocum, University of Kansas
Dave McDermott, Haskell Indian Nations University
This presentation reports on color usage in quantitative thematic mapping, drawing examples from eight geographical journals over a ten-year period. We systematically reviewed over 400 maps to assess the quality and appropriateness of their respective color schemes, and to identify any persistent or emerging trends. Notably, we found that color hue and lightness have supplanted all other visual variables as the principal method of representing quantitative data on thematic maps. This presentation visualizes many of the trends and key findings from our review, emphasizing the specific color schemes used to represent classed quantitative data. We will also discuss our procedures for cataloguing, evaluating, and visualizing each scheme.

Natural-Color Maps via Automated Coloring of Bivariate Grid Data
Jane Darbyshire, Oregon State University
Bernhard Jenny, Oregon State University
The creation of natural-color maps requires many steps, a significant time investment, and fairly detailed digital land cover information, which makes this technique impossible to apply to global web maps at medium and large scales. This study takes the first step in automating the creation of medium- and large-scale natural-color web maps by presenting a coloring method based on two grid inputs. We introduce an algorithmic method and prototype software for creating large-scale web maps with this technique. The software allows map authors to interactively assign colors and design the appearance of the map in an automated way, and generates web map tiles at a global level for medium and large scales.

avatar for Daniel P. Huffman

Daniel P. Huffman


avatar for Jake Coolidge

Jake Coolidge

cartographer, Colorado State University
I am research associate at Colorado State University who designs web maps with the National Park Service. I enjoy bridging old-school cartographic practice and emerging web map techniques.

Travis White

University of Kansas

Thursday October 15, 2015 2:00pm - 3:30pm CDT
Great Hall 225 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401

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