Continuning one's cartographic education long after having graduated from the college diploma program or the university degree program can be difficult. Courses in cartographer for cartographer are non-existent. Edward Tufte, however, provides the next best thing. His website is filled with book reviews, discussion groups, and essays on the graphic representation of data. His own books are an invaluable resource and available free to anyone who takes his day long course (looks like a great deal to me). On another site, some one has posted notes made during one of Tufte's lectures on maps. Comments like "avoid legends" could be an interesting discussion starter.
(Option 1, by the way, is the annual CCA conference.)
Whenever an election occurs in this country, I am always keen to see the results on a map. The next election might be soon but , in the meantime, there are the results of the recent UK election to enjoy in a cartographic format. The BBC has an interactive flash map of the 2005 election as well as for the 2001 election. Click on the map to zoom in and see the voting results for each riding. The Guardian also has a flash map and a less colourful html version. The Times also has a similar html map.Perhaps something similar will come along for Canada's next election? Any takers?
In February 2000, the Space Shuttle Endeavour flew an 11 day mission called the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to map the earth’s surface. What resulted was a digital elevation model that covers land areas between 60° N and 56°S at a resolution of 90m. More detailed 30m coverage is available for the United States.TheSRTM’s homepage is, surprisingly, not much to look at. Neither is it a good place to start your hunt for data. Another page provides a short description as to what the SRTM is all about but it also is not a good place to start looking for data. For an example what the data looks like, visit the SRTM gallery page. Check out the SRTM digital elevation model with a Landsat overlay of Mount Kilamanjaro, for instance.
To download data, go to the Seamless Data Distribution Page’s international data page. This page provides an ArcIMS map that you can navigate and use to download a number of different datasets, most of them restricted to the extent of the United States. To view and download, be sure to have “SRTM 90m shaded relief” checked off on both the Display and Download tabs on the right. This page, surprisingly, only provides SRTM 90m data for North and South America below 60° N. A more extensive and complete dataset is available elsewhere in 1° tile format in zipped hgt files.
Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to view what you’ve downloaded is to use 3Dem, a free terrain visualization software. Not only does it allow you to view digital elevation models in a variety of different file formats, but it allows you to create flybys and 3-D views, as well as export capabilities. It also allows you to drape geo-referenced images over the digital elevation models.
The challenge for cartographers is to provide a clear visual explanation of the relationship of people, objects and/or places. The Internet poses its own set of challenges to the would-be mapper: it is location-based but its internal structure is different from what we are used to. The Atlas of Cyberspaces documents a number attempts at mapping the Internet, some more successfully than others. Some maps are more recognizable as maps; others look more like diagrams (the Linuz system, apparently, looks a lot like a black hole). Still, even with something that looks more like a diagram than a map, there is something
that is pleasing to the cartographic eye.