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Four Persistent Research Questions in Cartography

Liqiu Meng


In recent decades, cartography has experienced a number of paradigm changes seen in refreshed research agendas and renewed education programs. Yet cartography remains the science, art and technology of making and using maps. This paper addresses four persistent research questions in cartography: 1 ) What is a map? 2) What are maps made for? 3) How are maps made? and 4) Who is making maps? Based on a retrospective analysis of cartographic advances since the introduction of the Internet in the early 1990s, the author gives an overview of evolution with regard to map types, map affordances, mapmaking workflows and the roles of mapmakers and map users. While some cartographic principles used since ancient times will continue to serve as anchor points for future development, ever-changing technological potentials and user requirements force us to maintain vitality with more and more innovative maps and map-based services. The author also appeals for a sustainable map creation ecosystem supported by cloud computing platforms.


visual analysis; event map; visual story; mashups; open online mapping platform

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Copyright (c) 2018 Liqiu Meng

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