Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

Patrick Kennelly, CW Post Campus of Long Island University | patrick.kennelly@liu.edu

Open access is good.

I don’t know if our good news is the result of systemic change or happenstance since making Cartographic Perspectives the first and only open access publication in the world dedicated to cartography. Regardless, our journal has received a "bump" in popularity that puts those of post-convention Romney and Obama to shame. Submittals are up. Visits to our journal’s website are up. The flow of articles released on our website is strong and steady. On top of all that, my job of explaining that "open access" means "everything in our journal is immediately and readily available to everyone" is now much simpler than trying to explain our transitional status of a year ago.

This was only possible with NACIS officers and the Board of Directors working both with us at CP and working for you as members. They have managed to devise attractive membership benefits while still supporting our digital publication. Reaching such a consensual balance in a less tightly knit community would seem all but hopeless, but our society—with its exuberant and like-minded members (HINT: "We like maps.")—has pulled it off with aplomb.

Returning to our good tidings, I’m happy to announce that Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University and literary ambassador of cartography to the world, has agreed to join our Editorial Board. Mark told me that he has "always been impressed with CP’s eclectic contents, from clever technical notes you can use to thoughtful discussions of solutions to design challenges, and from critiques of important products and programs to its amazingly effective incorporation of color and longstanding appreciation of interactive, dynamic mapping." Regarding our new format, he states "I’m especially intrigued by CP’s recasting itself as the pioneering fully open-access cartographic journal."

Mark also commented on challenges he sees facing our journal. The first is recruiting high-quality content. This is something that’s been on our radar for a long time, and one that we hope open access will address in part. His next challenge is the development of a long-term archival preservation plan. Now there is a future challenge worthy of consideration. Who could possibly be put in charge of ensuring that our content on mapping is still around in 100 years? The federal government? A new kind of map collector? I’d put my money on an organization of exuberant and like-minded members who sincerely like the product (HINT: "We like maps.") to be archived!

Although we look ahead to the future of CP with much anticipation, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all of the people from my first year as Editor who worked so diligently to make CP successful. Assistant Editor Rob Roth’s efforts in helping to set up the Open Journal System (OJS) and with numerous other editorial tasks were invaluable, and Assistant Editor Laura McCormick’s outstanding eye for layout and skill in copyediting help make CP such an attractive and readable journal. Special thanks, also, to all of my Section Editors, on whom I rely for recruiting and providing content: Terri Robar (Collections), Alex Tait (Practical Cartographer’s Corner), Andy Woodruff (On the Horizon), Lisa Sutton and Mark Denil (Reviews), and Daniel Huffman (Visual Fields). Finally, thanks to the following individuals who agreed to review manuscripts and returned the highest-quality reviews in the timeliest manner possible:

Marc Armstrong Matthew Edney Tom Patterson
Sarah Battersby Amy Griffin Michael Peterson
Matthew Beaty Dennis Haskell Keith Rice
Francis Boscoe Fritz Kessler Anthony Robinson
Cindy Brewer Jon Kimerling Terry Slocum
Nat Case John Krygier daan Strebe
Karen Cook Michael Leitner Roger Wheate
Robert Cromley Mark Monmonier Denis Wood
Matt Dooley Ian Muehlenhaus

As a result of their tireless efforts, the average decision on peer-reviewed papers in 2011 took just under eight weeks, and we hope to shorten this turnaround a bit this year with efficiencies built into our Open Journal System (OJS).

As for the present issue, it should have much appeal for those who appreciate "eclectic contents." Our two peer-reviewed articles are examples of intriguing work in two disparate branches of the discipline. Adele Haft, after introducing Australian poet Kenneth Slessor and his five-poem sequence The Atlas in CP 70, analyzes cartographic elements of the first of these poems, "The King of Cuckooz" in this issue. The second article in this issue is a much different type of cartographic analysis, as Michael Finn and other researchers at the US Geological Survey look into methods to better handle map projections of small-scale raster datasets.

Our Collections piece explores the map collection at Cornell University. If this contribution by Boris Michev sounds familiar, it may be because this article led our charge by being the first posted to our fully open access website months ago! It’s a pleasure to now incorporate Boris’ contribution into our current issue.

The Practical Cartographer’s Corner includes a number of techniques devised by students of Michael Peterson, who kindly includes a brief introduction to these efforts. Our Reviews section includes six book reviews that the frequent visitor to our CP website will note have been cropping up over the last few months.

This issue’s Marginalia focuses on the Student competitions held annually at NACIS’ conference. It includes reports on the winners of the Student Poster Competition and the Dynamic Map Competition with its two prizes, one for best narrative and another for best interactive map. I hope a glimpse at last year’s winners will help to inspire participants to this year’s event. A final inspiration is supplied in the Visual Fields section by Karla Sanders, who discusses her inspired Perceptions of Athens map illustration, which took the 2nd Place Honorable Mention at last year’s Student Poster Competition.

- Patrick Kennelly

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