Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Guest Blog - Use & User Issues and Education

Detailed Programme Synopsis Link
Early start on Tuesday with chairing a session on Use & User Issues at 8:30am – no long lie-ins in Paris! 
With 8 parallel tracks of talks there is always something to choose, although inevitably you really want to be in 2 (or 3) places at once at some times, and find less of interest at others. But there is always the map exhibition or posters to look at. 

Second morning session was one on Education where I was presenting a paper comparing UK and North American approaches to cartographic education. Seems to have been well received and a few people have since expressed interest – and surprise – that there was such a difference. It seems the French emphasis is closer to the US model, but Germany more like the UK. I was not surprised by the later, but had not considered the French emphasis was so much on statistical cartography; it seems this is another influence of Bertin.
The paper following mine was about a new MSc programme in Cartography (yes, ‘Cartography’, not GIS or Geoinformatics) shared by two German & one Austrian university, all taught in English. The major concern to UK universities must be the fee – under 1000 Euros, where our home fee is £5000 and overseas fee £15000.

National Maritime Museum, Paris
The conference reception on Tuesday evening was at the national maritime museum. Lots of fascinating ship models, etc., but much more limited wine and very limited nibbles, given that this was a ticketed event and not included in the registration fee… Good opportunity to network though, so perhaps limited wine was a good thing!

David Forrest PhD FBCart.S 
School of Geographical & Earth Sciences 
University of Glasgow

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