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Thursday, October 12 • 10:40am - 12:00pm
Symbolization Methods | Les méthodes de symbolisation

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Chernoff Zombies | Les zombies de Chernoff
Presenter: Heather Rosenfeld, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Copresenters: Sarah Moore, Eric Nost, Robert Roth, Kristen Vincent, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Chernoff faces are a controversial strategy for multivariate mapping. Chernoff zombies are a likely also controversial way of mapping uncertainty and gaps in a dataset. We use Chernoff zombies to visualize data on the transnational hazardous waste trade, and in doing so, attempt to productively respond to critiques of this mapping practice. This presentation will show a sequence of experimental Chernoff maps and discuss the process of creating them. We experiment with, first, removing or obscuring facial features to illustrate gaps and uncertainties in the dataset-thus, missing eyes, mouths, and other features correspond with missing information about waste processing, type, or quantity. Second, we play with the cartoonish style inherent to Chernoff faces, adding detail and variation to facial features. We attempt to balance the need for consistency with the ability of characters to draw people into a visual narrative.

Pen Craft-ography: The Return of Pen Plotters | L’art de la cartographie au stylo : le retour des tables traçantes
Presenter: Stephen Smith, MapSmith
Pen plotters were once (I'm told) the bane of cartographer's existence. In recent years, the trend has returned in the form of consumer products aimed at small format drawing machines. I've been experimenting with a consumer crafting tool for drawing maps with pens. I'd like to share my findings, experiences, and encourage collaboration.

Drawing a continent by hand | Dessiner un continent à la main
Presenter: Anton Thomas, Anton Thomas Art
Three years ago, I picked up a set of color pencils and began drawing North America. State by state, city by city, I wanted to pay tribute to this vast and beautiful continent by way of pictorial map. Without any idea how long it might take, I stumbled into an extremely dense and lengthy project: The North American Continent. Now, three years and 600 cities later, it is on the verge of completion. In this presentation we will explore methods, techniques and the story behind it — including its peculiar origins right here in Montréal. We will take a tour of the map, unpacking its contents while examining some of the interesting dilemmas one comes across in such a project. Selecting content for an expansive pictorial map is a thrilling but windy road — a search for harmony between the creative freedoms of art and the geographic truth of cartography.

Cartographic design and funding of ecosystem services models | La conception cartographique et le financement de modèles de services de l’écosystème

Presenter: Eric Nost, University of Wisconsin–Madison
In this presentation, I discuss the design features of, and funding mechanisms for, an emerging set of spatially-explicit ecosystem services models meant to inform policy. Ecosystem services are the often unaccounted-for benefits that nature provides to society, like flood mitigation from wetlands, and advocates claim that maps help communicate the value of ecosystem services to decision-makers. While there is much focus on how models calculate ecosystem services across space, a pressing research need is evaluating how map outputs actually represent them. I present two sets of criteria for such an evaluation: 1) map design (e.g. visual variables and hierarchy) and model interface design (especially the affordances of re-expression, re-symbolization, and isomorphic display). I then illustrate an example evaluation of a map from one model. I conclude by highlighting the political economic dimensions (e.g. funding and proprietarity) that may shape design.

avatar for Andy Woodruff

Andy Woodruff

Axis Maps


Eric Nost

University of Wisconsin-Madison
avatar for Anton Thomas

Anton Thomas

Artist Cartographer, Anton Thomas Art

Thursday October 12, 2017 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Ballroom Centre