Letter from the (Past-) President

Letter from the (Past-) President

Dear NACIS members and Cartographic Perspectives Readers,

As you will no doubt notice, this letter is a little tardy in arriving on your virtual doorstep, as my term as NACIS President (2015–2016) has now been over for some months. Nevertheless, I would like to take some time to recap some of what the Society was up to during my term as President.

The 2015 Minneapolis meeting, which had a theme of Mapping Interactions, was a success, with strong attendance and some unique events that our venue in the Renaissance Depot Hotel allowed us to experiment with because of its extensive open spaces. Chief among these was the Tangible Map Exhibit, an addition to our regular Map Gallery that highlighted tangible and physical cartographic works, with many visually stunning artistic maps and even a giant interactive floor map of the Bad River-Wetland Medicine River. This exhibit was co-organized by Matt Dooley, Jake Coolidge, and Caroline Rose. If you were unable to see it in person, you can see it photographically documented in a Visual Fields piece in CP 82 (doi.org/10.14714/CP82.1344). I would like to offer a big thank you to every one of the many people who helped the NACIS Board to put on a successful 2015 meeting.

In addition to highlighting the excellent work of students who were recognized in the 2015 student mapping competitions (print mapping: Evan Applegate for Design Quality and Gabriel Rousseau for Research Quality; dynamic mapping: Lucas Smith in the Individual category and Daniel Stephen/Jane Darbyshire/Samuel Hooper/Gareth Baldrica-Franklin/Jennifer Bohanan in the Group category), I am pleased to also now finally be able to announce the winner of our 2015 CP Student Paper Competition, Joel Radunzel, whose article entitled “Using the Right Tool: David Woodward’s Suggested Framework and the Study of Military Cartography” was published in CP 81 (doi.org/10.14714/CP81.1281). Congratulations to Joel on his fine work, and thank you to the CP Editorial Board members who served as the judges for papers published in 2015 volumes: Rob Roth and Bernie Jenny. If you have not yet read Joel’s article, I recommend it to you.

Anthony Robinson, the current President of NACIS, will no doubt tell you all about the 2016 Colorado Springs meeting in a future letter from the President that will be published soon, but I will mention one item from Colorado Springs that is of relevance to this issue of CP. For the first time, we experimented with streaming and recording a portion of the Annual Meeting, in an effort to broaden the reach of the Society to those who cannot always make it to the conference or who don’t yet know about the benefits of being a NACIS member. In this experiment, we recorded the presentations from Practical Cartography Day (PCD). The videos are now available on our NACIS YouTube channel (bit.ly/2phnDID). This is relevant to CP because in this issue, we present an attempt to build on and add further value to that project in a Practical Cartographer’s Corner submission entitled “Pretty Maps Without the Price Tag: Cartography with QGIS” by Emily Eros, one of the PCD 2016 presenters. You can see her video alongside some commentary about her presentation and an accompanying tutorial for working with the print composer to make maps in QGIS.

The current Vice President, Fritz Kessler, and VP-Elect, Ginny Mason, are busy preparing for the next meeting, in Montréal, Canada, and welcome any and all ideas for participation. I’d like to remind you all that abstracts are due for the 2017 meeting in a few weeks — on May 31, 2017.

A second major project that the Board undertook in 2015–2016 was an investment in and implementation of an organization-wide project management system. As the Society has grown and the Annual Meeting has become more complex, we needed some technological help to improve the coordination of all the people whose volunteer efforts make things happen. With more than 248 separate tasks just for putting on the Annual Meeting, you can appreciate the scale of the challenge!

Finally, during 2016, the Atlas of Design editorial team, Marty Elmer, Sam Matthews, and Ginny Mason, were hard at work in putting Volume 3 together. It sold out quickly after publication, and I will let Anthony tell you more about it in his letter.

I would like to extend a special thank you to all of the NACIS Board, and especially the Executive Board team, for all of their support during my term as President. There is no way we would have made any of these things happen without the teamwork and good cheer of everyone involved. On that note, if any of our readers have an interest in becoming more involved with the Society, one way of doing so is to run for the NACIS Board. Wearing my Past-President hat, my primary job is to solicit nominations for candidates for the Board. Please feel free to contact me soon if you would like to put yourself forward as a candidate for this year’s election.

I hope that you have some time to have a closer look at the contents of CP 84. In addition to Emily Eros’s piece already mentioned above, Mark Denil responds to Anne Knowles’s 2014 Annual Meeting Keynote in a peer-reviewed piece entitled “Storied Maps.” In Visual Fields, Meghan Kelly’s contribution expands on her work on cartographic borders, first presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, in a piece titled “Collectively Mapping Borders.” Learn about a collection of maps of other worlds, including the Land of Oz and Middle-earth, in Sierra Laddusaw and Jeremy Brett’s profile on the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at Texas A&M in their Cartographic Collections piece. Finally, you will find reviews of Mark Monmonier’s recent memoir, Cindy Brewer’s updated edition of Designing Better Maps, and a scholarly volume on maps as consumer items and what their study can tell us about society in Renaissance Italy. Enjoy!

Amy Griffin
NACIS President, 2015–2016
Cartographic Perspectives Editor

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