Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

These letters I write as Editor of Cartographic Perspectives are becoming an annual event for me, and this is good news! CP traditionally dedicates one of its three annual opening letters to insights from the President of NACIS, and I thank Alex Tait for his informative contribution in the last issue. In the past few years, we’ve also been fortunate enough to hear from outstanding Guest Editors in a second letter. They provide our readers with their unique and insightful viewpoints on subject matter of interest to the cartographic community, as well as recruit high quality content. Anthony Robinson and Rob Roth delivered on both fronts in their special issue on Cognition, Behavior, and Representation in the previous issue (CP 77) available online at bit.ly/1LMYUAZ.

For the issue following this one, I feel fortunate that David Fairbairn has agreed to be Guest Editor of a volume dedicated to Cartographic Education. David serves as Chair of the International Cartographic Association’s Commission on Education and Training, and I hope that this collaboration can help us to continue to build connections between our organizations. I can’t think of a better time to undertake such an endeavor than during the 2015–2016 International Map Year, an initiative of the ICA dedicated to the celebration of maps and their unique role in our world (mapyear.org). In addition to a CP issue crafted in collaboration with the ICA, the 2015 Annual Meeting of NACIS will feature special events to celebrate International Map Year.

If you’re thinking my responsibilities as Editor are becoming too cushy, feel free to dismiss these concerns. The last time I wrote my annual letter was not a year but a mere nine months ago. This is thanks to a steady stream of content from contributors, as well as the ongoing efforts of the Section Editors and anonymous reviewers generous enough to contribute their expertise and donate their time to the editorial and review processes. None of this work, however, would grace the pages of CP in so professional or attractive a manner if not for the tireless efforts of my Assistant Editor Daniel Huffman.

Yet writing a letter every nine months is not all I do for CP. I also oversee the Student Peer-Reviewed Paper Competition; and by oversee, I mean that I see the outcome of the hard work of the student authors, reviewers, and judges. This year we had a record number of entrants, with a student-authored paper appearing in each of the three issues of 2014! The Official Rules (dx.doi.org/10.14714/CP74.1013) require that I put together a committee of judges from my Editorial Board. Mark Monmonier and Michael Peterson were kind enough to serve, each reviewing all three papers and completing the scoring rubric.

I’m pleased to announce that Maxim Rylov, a recent Ph.D. student at Heidelberg University in Germany, is the first author of the winning article, “Pairwise Labeling of Geographic Boundaries: An Efficient and Practical Algorithm” (found on page 5, or online at dx.doi.org/10.14714/CP79.1212). Mark Monmonier stated that the article is “impressively useful and lucid, and a valuable contribution to our literature.” Michael Peterson pointed out how the authors tackled the difficult issue of map labeling, and found the article “well presented and illustrated.”

Maxim and his co-author Andreas Reimer are honored to win the award with its cash prize of $1,350, cite the contributions of the anonymous reviewers for their comments focused on improving the original manuscript, and thank the editorial team for conscientious and hard work. Also, I’m happy to note that 1) their research has been viewed more than 500 times on the CP web site, and 2) Google Scholar links directly to the CP web site for free and easy access to this article. Both of these milestones have already occurred despite the fact that the issue in which their article appears is only now being published. Our open access journal offers strategic advantages for authors interested in producing timely and findable publications!

The second peer-reviewed article in this issue is the latest installment by Adele Haft on Kenneth Slessor’s poem “Mermaids,” the fourth from his sequence The Atlas. I’d encourage everyone to accompany Adele on an exploration of this “…riotous romp through seas of fantastic creatures, and a paean to the maps that gave such creatures immortality.” No better literary companion exists. Adele is a veritable rock star on CP’s web site, with her five works on Slessor having been viewed more than 50,000 times to date.

Other stops in this issue include a tour of the Birmingham Public Library’s cartographic collection led by George Stewart, and Jerry’s Map, a masterpiece created over 50 years by Jerry Gretzinger. I also hope you’ll enjoy the interview Student Board Member Lauren Tierney conducted with long-time NACIS member and former President Jim Meacham as much as I did. Martin von Wyss reports on a workflow suitable for printing 3D landform models that is rich in experience and detail. Finally, our reviews are excellent ways to find out about new publications on subjects as diverse as 19th century American cartography, mapping Mormonism, and Spanish Cosmography. I thank Section Editors Terri Robar, Laura McCormick, Lisa Sutton, Alex Tait, and Andy Woodruff for their continued efforts to seek out and edit such excellent contributions.

Patrick Kennelly
Editor of Cartographic Perspectives


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