APUC 2013: Cartographic Best Practices

Hello from Singapore!

Cartography (or Carto as I refer to it) is a favourite topic of mine and when I get started, I can talk about mapping and visualisation for well… hours.  So having to talk for just 45 minutes meant I needed to focus on one key message;

When it comes to cartography it’s time to Think Big!

Thinking big is about putting cartography at the heart of every enterprise GIS system. It’s about data aligned to cartographic standards, ready to be used across multiple products, in varying formats. It’s about map outputs ready to print “on demand”, published to the web or easily packaged up to share. All of this whilst maintaining all important cartographic industry standards.

The session started with an overview of enterprise cartography, i.e. the ability to store your cartographic information in the geodatabase, through Cartographic Representations.

They allow your symbols to be assigned against each and every feature. Representations aren’t only a smart storage solution, they provide access to tools which sort out those frustrating cartographic challenges you just can’t solve.

I showcased data driven pages and their ability to create consistent, good looking map output with the click of a button (or two, ok maximum three). I know the ability to quickly create map output to specifications is important to everyone. I often wish I had access to this years ago!


We also explored how Python can play a large role in cartography now, especially when we are talking about streamlining our workflows, as well as looking at some of the more unusual cartographic requests that people are starting to get – around real-time presentations of data.

It was great to bring just a taste of what is on offer in cartography today, see you next time.

Kellie P.

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