Journal cover Journal topic
Proceedings of the ICA
Journal topic
Articles | Volume 5
07 Aug 2023
 | 07 Aug 2023

Machines as mapmakers and map users: key questions to ponder upon?

Nina Polous

Keywords: Cartography, Machine as Map-use, Machine as Map-making, Autonomous systems, Event-mapping

Abstract. This article explores the convergence of cartography and robotic mapping, addressing key challenges and opportunities that arise as machines increasingly serve as both mapmakers and map users. The author investigates three critical questions: (1) how to best represent geographical data and maps for machines, (2) what dynamic information about our environment should be made readily available to machines, and (3) which ethical, religious, and cultural norms should be considered for autonomous entities. By addressing these questions, the author aims to facilitate the development of geospatial data representation, management, and analysis for autonomous systems, while ensuring harmonious coexistence with humans. In the scope of this paper, author tries to propose an approach to bridge the gap between traditional cartography and the emerging needs of machines as user and makers by building common ground through cross-disciplinary collaboration, joint research groups, and the development of common standards and frameworks. In this proposal, particularly by using design thinking approach, an event-mapping principle, as an approach that represents spatial information as events, is highlighted as a promising common framework for integrating static and dynamic spatial information. Since, event-based mapping and models can improve the representation of geographical data for machines, enabling them to better understand the environment and make informed decisions in complex and dynamic contexts. This convergence will ultimately transform the way we think about maps and geographical information systems in the age of machines.

Publications Copernicus