The new issue of the International Journal of Cartography is now published online.
The contents of the issue are:
- Editorial: Maps – essential information resources for integration, analysis and informing William Cartwright & Anne Ruas
- A year like no other – the ICA during the pandemic Tim Trainor
- The 1705 van Delft expedition to northern Australia: a toponymic perspective Jan Tent
- Famous charts and forgotten fragments: exploring correlations in early Portuguese nautical cartography Bruno Almeida
- Strengthening resilience in the Caribbean region through the Spatial Data Infrastructures Paloma Merodio Gómez, Efrain Limones García & Andrea Ramírez Santiago
- Minimum-error world map projections defined by polydimensional meshes Justin H. Kunimune
- Automating and utilising equal-distribution data classification Gennady Andrienko, Natalia Andrienko, Ibad Kureshi, Kieran Lee, Ian Smith & Toni Staykova
- Maps in History: Fighting Epidemics Imre Josef Demhardt
Editorial: Maps – essential information resources for integration, analysis and informing
We currently live in a most awful time. We are threatened by an invisible killer that we, as individuals and communities, must work hard to avoid, eliminate and, hopefully, eradicate. To help us to better understand our local situation, about infections nearby, and the global situation we, as individuals, can source information from both local and global news services and publications. This information that informs us generally includes infographics and maps. These graphical, and geo-graphical information communication methods support and enhance the information that we mostly receive through the written word and tabulated number counts.
Data provided by esteemed medical research facilities and governmental agencies are the sources for mapped information. For example, The New York Times provides information on the COVID-19 virus information via their ‘Coronavirus World map: Tracking the Global Outbreak” website. Infographics and maps (generated via Mapbox), includes global information on hot spots, total cases, deaths and virus cases per capita (country-by-country). The site brings-together information from local governments, The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University, the National Health Commission of the PRC and the Wold Health Organisation. And, for the USA, the newspaper provides similar virus-related data (again using infographics and maps) on a state-by-state and county basis: trends in virus growth, vaccine rollout figures and the national situation generally. This is repeated in a similar fashion by other major internationally-respected newspapers, as well as news services like Bloomberg, Reuters, BBC, CNN and France 24. As well, our local newspapers and television news reports provide similar, more focussed information. Maps are prominent in these news stories and reports, and they are used to inform us about the geographical reach of COVID-19.
It’s times like these that we need to better understand the impact of COVID-19 and the efforts being made to confront this challenge to humanity. Mapping has, and is, playing a major role for information collection, integration, analysis and informing. This utilisation of contemporary mapping services, whereby data can be sourced globally, and then presented to citizens, via print or digital media, illustrates the power of these mediums to better provide tools for decision-makers and to inform the general public.
In this issue, as part of the on-going column: Maps in history, Imre Demhardt provides some context about the use of maps as a tool for managing epidemics and developing strategic responses and spatially-informed strategies in his contribution, ‘Fighting Epidemics’. Professor Demhardt notes in his article that it wasn’t until the seventeenth century that printed maps were used as a tool to fight epidemics. He provides examples from Bari on the Apulian coast of the Adriatic in the then Kingdom of Naples in 1690, New York City in 1795 and 1797 and London, 1849 and 1854. This piece illustrates the usefulness of maps, historically, and we can reflect upon their usefulness today.
Other papers in this edition include a contribution from Jan Trent – The 1705 van Delft expedition to northern Australia: A toponymic perspective. The paper outlines the 1705 voyage of Dutch explorer Maerten van Delft, and the examination of the subsequent manuscript chart and report by two Councillors of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in Batavia. The paper reports on the findings of research that was undertaken to compare the differences between the two historic records and motivations behind the naming of locations.
Bruno Almeida provides another historically-focussed paper – Famous Charts and Forgotten Fragments: Exploring Correlations in Early Portuguese Nautical Cartography. Research was undertaken to ascertain the links between two anonymous early sixteenth century portolan charts: the portolan chart at the Bibliothèque Municipale of Dijon and a fragment of a chart from the Archive at Torre do Tombo, Lisbon. As well, the research investigated the links between these two charts and the Kunstmann III chart. This was completed using a comparative study and cartometric methods to access their implicit geometry.
Strengthening resilience in the Caribbean region through the spatial data infrastructures, by Andrea Paloma Merodio Gómez, Efrain Limones García & Andrea Ramírez Santiago provides information relating to the methodology and the results from the assessment of the initial status of the SDIs of the member of the Association of Caribbean States. The research undertaken also assessed the activities carried out for Strengthening these National SDIs, user satisfaction of improvements that had been made and provided recommendations for strengthening the use of geospatial information for regional decision-making.
Justin H. Kunimune, in his paper Minimum-error world map projections defined by polydimensional meshes, presents a method that uses multi-dimensional optimization to optimize piecewise map projections, based on interpolation onto unstructured meshes. These map projections are presented as the Danseiji projections, along with their potential applications. The results of the research reported are demonstrated using several new map projections. These map projections are presented as the Danseiji projections, along with their potential applications.
Equal-distribution data classification for studying relationships between spatial phenomena, is contributed by Gennady Andrienko, Natalia Andrienko, Ibad Kureshi, Kieran Lee, Ian Smith and Toni Staykova. The paper outlines and develops their proposal of a data classification method for choropleth maps that defines intervals so that some quantity represented by values of another attribute is equally distributed among the classes. They consider that this approach may be most useful when the distribution of the phenomenon is very unequal, with many data items having zero or low quantities and quite a few items having larger quantities. The method developed is demonstrated by analysing data that referred to a set of spatially distributed people (patients) in relationship to characteristics of the areas where they are domiciled.
William Cartwright, Melbourne, Australia
Anne Ruas, Paris, France
Editors, International Journal of Cartography