Map templates in a European Research program: emerging consensus, without compromising cartographic innovation
Keywords: Cartographic innovation, ESPON, European Institutions, Map harmonization, Map templates
Abstract. Maps are produced to represent geography and spatial organization of natural or human features. They deliver spatial forms where each graphic object have its influence and can change the perceived message. The cartographic realization participates to the geographical analyzes and helps their memorization. Adding innovation to this achievement ensures a perception and understanding of the scientific information delivered. The question is to understand what innovation is, when we speak about cartography. The underpinnings of the design and delivery of these representations are surely linked to developments in theory and technology applied to the geosciences, but not only. The purpose of this paper is to offer some ideas on the influence of an institutional framework on innovation and the relevance of a cartographic realization. Based on the example of the cartographic models construction in the framework of the research projects financed by the ESPON (European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion) Programme, we try to show how a framework that is too strict and fixed upstream of cartographic design can lead to a homogeneous and stereotyped production, without innovation or simply cartographic originality. In conclusion, we show how a close negotiation between funders and cartographers can help to evolve the cartographic scheme in place. Several proposals are put forward.