CARTOGRAPHY AS A GEOSCIENTIFIC FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE

A. Berlyant

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Faculty of Geography, MSU, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russia

berl@gol.ru

 

Cartography as a science and a sphere of education is tightly connected with geodesy, though it doesnt belong as a whole to the cycle of astronomy and geodesy sciences. The subject of cartography is the representation and spatial-temporal analysis of natural and socio-economic geosystems and ecosystems by means of graphic (cartographic) modelling. Therefore it is an interdisciplinary science belonging to the sciences of the Earth and the planets.

It is considered that modern cartography has three theoretical concepts, namely modelling cognitive, communicative and linguistic. Recent evolution of cartography had proved that a map combines the advantages of a graphic model and a channel of communicating spatial and temporal information. Moreover, it is based on specific sign language, thus embracing all three approaches mentioned above.

At present the Earth sciences, sciences of the planets and adjacent socio-economic branches of knowledge, such as economic geography, history, demography, political science, etc., make wide use of various geoimages, i.e. traditional and computer maps, atlases, globes, cartoids, anamorphoses and block-diagrams, aerial and space images taken by different systems in different spectral ranges, as well as orthophotomaps, space maps, animations and virtual models. Classical cartography is already unable to cover the whole variety of geoimages, systematize them and evaluate the diversity of their characteristics and possible applications.

It is therefore useful to move the focus of study from particular maps, images or computer graphic models to geoimages as such, including 2D, 3D and 4D or dynamic ones. Such integration would enrich the technologies of production and the language of geoimages, methods of generalization, techniques of measurement and transformation, i.e. everything that has been developed within cartography, geoinformatics and remote sensing.

The cartographic education in Russia has two prominent scientific schools, i.e. university geographic cartography and engineering cartography. There are also several models of geoinformation education with different priorities, such as technical and applied aspects of GIS design and application; GIS-technologies for thematic and general mapping; integration of GIS and remote sensing; interaction with geographical and cartographical sciences and other Earth sciences, etc.

Geoscientific nature of cartography and existing traditions make it possible to state that the block of geosciences should be of particular importance in education programs. Geography, geology, geophysics and geoecology are four pillars supporting all geoinformation-cartographic disciplines including aerospace methods as well. Here it should be noted that geography embraces both physical geography and the set of socio-economic disciplines.

The main block includes general theory of geoimages, cartography and use of maps, geoinformatics, GIS and telecommunication, aerospace methods and space mapping, as well as geodetic bases of geoimages and global positioning. The general theory of geoimages should not substitute cartography, remote sensing and geoinformatics, but systematize their common problems and eliminate overlaps.

Separate block should include general scientific disciplines, such as mathematics, elements of physics, biology and cybernetics.

Innovations in the sphere of geoinformatic-cartographic education should regard to the methods of education, technical means and technologies. Therefore it is important to form the infrastructure of innovations in geoinformatic-cartographic education, i.e. systems of methods, programs, manuals, textbooks, teaching aids and other education means, combined with provision of conceptual-methodological and legal support.