Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

One of the things I love about NACIS as an organization is that it draws in cartophiles from all corners of the mapping world, ranging from the technical to the artistic, including practicioners working in academia, government, and industry. Just as importantly, it provides a genuinely supportive space in which students can develop and learn. This is of utmost importance to our discipline and organization, as students are, in very real terms, our future. NACIS was the first professional organization that nurtured my own cartographic interests and this, I think, played an important role in my continued involvement with the community as my career developed, and in the benefits I’ve derived therefrom.

One of my goals as editor is to make sure that this supportive space extends to our journal so that students feel both welcome and encouraged to submit their work to one or another of our many sections. The majority of the content in CP 85 comes from either current or very recently graduated students, so I hope this is evidence that we have made a good start in that regard. If you are a student who is reading this editorial and this issue of the journal, I hope that you might imagine submitting your own work to the journal.

Consider writing a peer-reviewed article about the research you are working on for your thesis; we even have a yearly prize to recognize the best student paper published in each year. My predecessor, Pat Kennelly, was instrumental in establishing this award. All you have to do to be considered for the award is to submit your article and have it accepted for publication in the journal; on that note, check out Joel Radunzel’s winning article from 2015.

Or, if you’re more practically minded, have you developed a new workflow for achieving a particular cartographic effect? You can share your experience in the practical cartographer’s corner. If you are a graduate teaching assistant and you’ve found a good method for explaining a concept or technique, share that knowledge with us in the views on cartographic education section. Those of you lucky enough to have jobs that keep your noses deep in a map library’s treasures might consider suggesting to your supervisor that you profile some of your library’s most interesting pieces in a cartographic collections article. If you’ve got an artistic bent, share your beautiful creations in visual fields. Finally, if there’s a book you’d like sitting on your own shelf, consider writing for our reviews section. Any one of our section editors would be happy to support you in developing a contribution.

As this is the last 2016-dated issue of CP, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following individuals who generously provided their time and expertise this publication year in reviewing manuscripts for the peer-reviewed section of the journal. The peer review process is critical (pun intended) for helping authors to improve the clarity of their thinking and the communication of ideas presented in their papers. It is exceedingly rare for a manuscript to be accepted without revisions, and the collective thinking that the peer review process harnesses helps all of our authors to improve their contributions.

  • Ola Ahlqvist
  • Natalia Andrienko
  • Roger Beecham
  • Sébastien Caquard
  • William Cartwright
  • Lorenz Hurni
  • Christoph Kinkeldey
  • James Kuiper
  • Mark Monmonier
  • Ian Muehlenhaus
  • Tom Patterson
  • Margaret Pearce
  • Amy Rock
  • Robert Roth
  • Sasha Savelyev
  • Denis Wood

In CP 85, you will find a peer-reviewed article by Carolyn Fish and Kirby Calvert. Their piece presents a competitive analysis of the functionality and design of urban-scale solar energy web maps that are used to assess the solar potential for an individual building. Such maps provide access to information that is important for potential solar system buyers to assess the cost-benefit balance of installing a system in a particular location. They identify best practices for solar energy web map design as well as offer suggestions for implementing additional solar planning tools that might support solar energy installation decisions among not only individual building owners, but also policy makers and utility operators.

In the practical cartographer’s corner, Owen Stuckey presents a comparison of tools for creating cartographic animations of time series data in two commonly used GIS programs, ArcGIS and QGIS. His comparison found that while most animation types could be created in both tools, there are time and cost trade-offs. Whereas ArcGIS might be a preferred tool for working with large, frequently updated datasets, the simplicity of QGIS might be preferable for one-off animations.

In visual fields, Tracey Clement discusses her Drowned World map series, which represents sea level rise of 70 meters on the Earth’s landmasses. She uses the properties of particular map projections, as well as an unusual material—rust—to focus the reader’s attention on the implications of our actions for specific locations. An included time-lapse video provides an additional window into Tracey’s artistic practice.

Four book reviews round out CP 85. Daniel Cole reviews Pinde Fu’s book, Getting to Know Web GIS, published by Esri Press. Ann M. Hanlon provides an informative assessment of the strengths of Abstract Machine: Humanities GIS, by Charles B. Travis. Fábio Gil Rodrigues reviews Anette Miae Kim’s book, Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City, which is about public place analysis, and which draws upon ideas from critical cartography. Finally, Mark Denil highly recommends Karl E. Ryavec’s A Historical Atlas of Tibet.

Amy L. Griffin
Editor, Cartographic Perspectives

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