Education and Training

Educational concepts and content

5705.1 - The triangle of competences as elementary part of modern cartographic education

Wednesday, July 5
4:10 PM - 4:30 PM
Location: Virginia C

Modern cartography is everything we do in our daily life as a cartographer or GI Scientist in order to produce maps, or to be more precise to design cartographic communication processes. The role of the map has changed. Maps used to be artefacts, they had to look beautiful, well-designed, they had to store information for a long time because it needed to be used over a long period of time. In modern cartography there is an increasing number of functions to a map. Besides its old function of an artefact, a modern map is also an interface that gives human users access to information stored in the map and beyond the map in databases.

The domains dealing with spatial data are growing fast. There are more and more techniques, algorithms, sensors and software available which can contribute to data acquisition, data modelling, data analysis. There is a huge potential in spatial data and we are definitively not short of data. Clearly we can state, that it is rather the opposite. The problem is often not that we don't have enough data but rather too many. We need to make more and more efforts to deal with all those data in an efficient sense, mining the relevant information and link and select the appropriate information for a particular scenario. We are also not short of technologies in this context, including sensors, hardware and software. It is rather the opposite, while just being able to fully employ the potential of a particular data acquisition, modelling or dissemination technology new technologies come in and need to be considered.

What we can expect in the near future is, that information is available anytime and anywhere. In its provision and delivery it is tailored to the user's context and needs. That’s why a modern cartographer needs to be an interdisciplinary professional. For cartographers it is most important to know about how to deal with data, how they can be processed and visualised, but also about design, art, modelling and analysis techniques as well as which eventual new technologies can be applicable to parts of the cartographic processes. All these fields are influencing the product that the cartographer delivers in the end. You could best see this in the triangle of data, technologies and design that will make up for the best cartographic products. The modern cartographer is in the middle, better in the heart, of that triangle. He is skilled, trained and able to deal with Geo-data, newest technologies and design principles, which enable him to make full use of cartographic methodology and principles. Unfortunately there are less and less cartographers with those skills available, but rather experts of geo-data handling, lacking design skills eventually, or programmers, lacking a profound understanding of "geo" or a mixture of all those. This is due to the lack of dedicated education as well as due to the focusing on particular aspects of skills.

In this paper it is argued, that a modern cartography education is a key concern for the future of our domain and that such a modern cartography education needs to take a balanced approach in addressing competences and skills in dealing with 1) data in general sense and especially geo-data in a specific sense, 2) technologies for geo data processing, analysis, visualisation and dissemination and 3) graphical design, to enable a fundamental skills set and competences for fully approach cartographic methodology and principles. As a proof of concept experiences with the conceptualization of a part of an excellence International Master Programme on Cartography are analysed and discussed.

Georg Gartner

Full Professor, Head of Research Group Cartography
Vienna University of Technology

Georg Gartner is full professor and head of the research group cartography at the department for geoinformation and geodesy at the Vienna University of Technology. He is past president of the ICA and editor of the book series "Lecture Notes on Geoinformation and Cartography" as well as editor-in-chief of the "Journal on Location-based Services".


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Terje Midtbø

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Terje Midtbø is Professor in Cartography at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology. There he is involved in education and research within GIS and Cartography. Hie research interests are in the direction of Cartographic animations, Web Cartography, Web experiments, Maps in VR etc.


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5705.1 - The triangle of competences as elementary part of modern cartographic education

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