Looking back at NACIS 2009

The 2009 NACIS conference is behind us already, so it’s time to look back. As always, it was a wonderful gathering of cartographers and other map-minded people. Interesting presentations, fun social events, you name it.

Some things that stood out to me were the work that Axis Maps is doing on Indiemapper. It looks like this may be the way cartography and GIS apps will be moving in the future. Away from the desktop and on to the Internet. I haven’t been able to play with it myself yet, but I’d like to give it a spin as soon as I can. It outputs to SVG so the results can be edited in Illustrator.

Another highlight was Elbie Bentley’s presentation on a narrative atlas she produced. This mapped out the progress of a mapping party for the Pacific Railroad and she faithfully recreated the visual style of the 1800s maps, including manually hachuring 20 map sheets. Of all the people currently alive, she may just be the one who knows most about hachuring now.

On a personal level, the panel discussion that I organised on running a cartographic business was very well received. Together with 3 co-panelists (Derek Tonn of mapformation, Dennis McClendon of Chicago Cartographics and Alex Tait of International Mapping) we sat down and answered questions from the audience for an hour and a half. Large audience and we filled up the entire time slot we had, plus many people came to us afterwards with additional questions. Stay tuned because I want to do/write more on this subject.

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