Friday 25 November 2011

Guest Blog - Paris Metro Map design

In the light of the discussions at the recent GIS SIG seminar, I thought BCS members may be interested in a competition to create a new Paris Metro map. 
I was invited to take part and have been selected as one of the finalists. The overall winner will be selected by popular vote (via Facebook) but I’m not asking for mine to be favoured, I just thought the competition needs as wide an audience as possible. I have the impression it is the sort of thing that may interest the members of the BCS and ICA especially as the last meeting was in Paris.

I would be interested to hear what you and the other members think of the entries:
See the facebook page

And here is the link to the press release:

Mark Noad Design

Saturday 19 November 2011


Anyone with an interest in maps can join the British Cartographic Society (BCS). You don’t have to be a cartographer; you don’t have to be a map maker. You may just like maps or be involved in the broader mapping industry or design. After all, cartography is an art and that art can be enjoyed and developed by many. The primary role of the BCS is to promote the art of good cartography.

BCS is a broad church with professionals from academia, government, military, business and all shades between. So, you can join BCS as an individual or it may be that corporate membership is more appropriate. Corporate members get a free stand space at the Society’s annual symposium and can submit articles for publication about their products to the Maplines team who edit the Society’s magazine. Individuals can submit articles too.
Maplines is the Society’s magazine and 3 editions are produced each year. The Cartographic Journal has 4 editions a year and is peer reviewed. Consequently it enjoys an international reputation for very high quality articles about all aspects of cartography and is a major source of income for the Society. Cartographiti is the magazine of the Map Curators’ Group (MCG) which usually meets twice a year.

The MCG is just one of 4 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which are open to Society members and others with a specific interest. The GIS SIG also meets twice a year and concentrates on issues that are of special interest to the expanding GIS community. The Design Group focuses on all aspects of cartographic design, meets twice a year and publishes articles in the Maplines magazine. The Historical Military Mapping Group has a new convener so meetings should resume in the near future.

You cannot promote the art of good cartography without providing some training opportunities. The one day Better Mapping teaching sessions have been running now for over 4 years. First the courses were at a basic level but now there is an advanced course as well. These courses are open to all and take place at various locations around the country several times a year. Attendance at these courses entitles participants to claim CPD points towards Chartered Geographer status or maintain that qualification.


CPD points can also be claimed after participation as a mentor in the BCS Restless Earth programme. The Restless Earth exercises are run for year 10 students at their schools. Presently the scenario is based on the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident around Sendai. Students, in teams of 5, are given maps of the area, access to the internet during the 2 hour exercise and tasked with producing a map that will enable the rescue teams and aid agencies to carry out their various humanitarian tasks. This is a really exciting programme. Not only is it a fun exercise to be involved in but more importantly it demonstrates to the students the essential and incredible value of maps, both hard and soft copy, when it comes to disaster management.

The Society runs a Restless Earth exercise alongside the Annual Symposium which is held in June at a variety of locations around the UK. The Symposium also attracts CPD points, lasts 3 days and there are lectures, workshops, SIG meetings and the corporate members are invited to take part in the exhibition. At the Gala Dinner the awards are presented to the winners in some 8 categories. There is also a golf competition for the Golden Ball trophy.

The British Cartographic Society has a lot to offer the membership and continues to develop new ideas and ways of promoting good cartography within the organisation and beyond.

BCS President’s Report November 2011

It’s been quite a busy time. As planned, the GIS SIG, AGM and award ceremony took place in London at the RAF Club on 1 November. The GIS SIG was a great success with attendees learning how and how not to produce schematic maps – the choice of angles, straight lines or curved lines is all important. Also, included in the programme was a brief on the recent ICC in Paris as it’s important that members know how our involvement with the ICA is working. There is a meeting of ICA chairs of commissions in Vienna about now and I have suggested that there should be regular reports on the work of the commissions published in a journal by the ICA. The AGM went well and after it had been concluded I presented Mike Wilburn with the NewMapmaker award sponsored by National Geographic.

The following day, Council met in London at Prospect House. The sales of ‘Cartography – an introduction’ have been so good that it looks as though we’ll have to do a reprint. The Programme Committee is busy putting together the 2012 programme which at the moment includes 4 Restless Earth events at schools and they are beginning to put together the schedule for our Annual Symposium at the Basingstoke Country Hotel from 13-15 June where the theme will be ‘Mapping the Global Village’. Also, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that Dr John Peaty from DGC has volunteered to take over as the convener of the HMMG – thank you John.  After the Council meeting we had the first meeting of the 2013 committee. As you’ll be aware it’s the 50th anniversary of the foundation of BCS in 2013 so we are planning to have a number of special events to celebrate the occasion. So far we have just an outline in the form of an initial calendar of events which we’ll build upon.

The Restless Earth event at Altrincham Boys GS was a great success so much so that we’ve been asked to go back and run the exercise again next year. We were helped by 5 Royal Geographical Society (RGS) ambassadors who are undergraduates at Manchester University. This worked extremely well for all concerned and I hope we’ll be able to call upon support from other RGS ambassadors at future schools events. In our busy start to November, Steer Davies Gleave also hosted our next Better Mapping Seminar in London run by AGI and BCS. As these seminars continue to be so well attended we plan to run more from Spring 2012.

The next major event is the Mapping Showcase on 1 December at the Emirates Stadium under the LMF banner. The UKCC meets on 10 January. We have a BCS stand at the DGI Show in London 24-25 January and the UK GEOForum Annual Lecture is on 26 January at the RICS when the speaker will be Mike Parker.

At the last Council meeting I undertook to write a page entitled, ‘Why Join BCS’. I have done that and it will appear on this blog also. If there is anything you think I should add please leave me a comment. So far this year we’ve attracted about 85 new members and I’d like to see if we can make it 100!  So, perhaps you can use ‘Why Join BCS’ to make this happen. Anyone who applies for membership now will have membership until 31 December 2012 – an ideal Christmas present for someone?!

Best Wishes
BCS President

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