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A New Strategy to Achieve a Balanced Body of Knowledge for Cartography

Authors: Harold Moellering*, Ohio State University
Topics: Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Cyberinfrastructure
Keywords: Analytical Cartography, Cartography, Body of Knowledge, GIScience, Spatial Science, GeoSpatial Theory
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the last few years, the ICA leadership has recognized this need, and has organized an effort to develop a systematic Body of Knowledge (BoK) for the field of Cartography. But the effort has run in fits and starts because of apparent confusion on the conceptual grounding, and how it should be structured. One point of confusion is that the ICA Research Agenda was inward-looking, while a Body of Knowledge is outward-looking, towards the development of future research.

One must also be aware of the three basic scientific paradigms in Cartography:
* Communication Paradigm
* Mapping and Visualization Paradigm
* Analytical Paradigm.
Almost all professional work in the field of Cartography falls into one, or more, of these three scientific paradigms.

One must also be aware of the fundamental division of Cartography in to Deep and Surface Structure, where
* Surface Structure is the visualization of maps and spatial visualizations, where maps, Real and Virtual 1, are displayed and perceived in the mind.
* Deep Structure is the deep data space, Virtual 2 or Virtual 3, where mathematical concepts and theory, data structures, and operational algorithms operate, and are used to generate the display on the surface structure.

This fundamental view of Cartography, and how it works, forms a solid base on which to develop a Body of Knowledge for the field. This paper will discuss these fundamental conceptual components of Cartography, and relate them to the process to develop a Body of Knowledge for Cartography.

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