A Practical Framework for Cartographic Design
Keywords: canon, cartography, craft, critique, design resources, design, mapicity, schema, style, taste, theory
Abstract. Creation of a map artifact that can be recognized, accepted, read, and absorbed is the cartographer's chief responsibility. This involves bringing coherence and order out of chaos and randomness through the construction of map artifacts that mediate processes of social communication. Maps are artifacts, first and foremost: they are artifacts with particular formal attributes. It is the formal aspects of the map artifact that allows it to invoke and sustain a reading as a map. This paper examines Cartographic Design as the sole means at the cartographer's disposal for constructing the meaning bearing artifacts we know as maps, by placing it in a center of a practical analytic framework. The framework draws together the Theoretic and Craft aspects of map making, and examines how Style and Taste operate through the rubric of a schema of Mapicity to produce high quality maps. The role of the Cartographic Canon, and the role of Critique, are also explored, and a few design resources are identified.