Explaining cartography’s complexities

By kate on October 14th, 2021

During my time at Amazon, I found myself answering questions and dispelling assumptions about cartography on a regular basis. Eventually, I developed a 15-minute talk on the subject and gave it many times to engineers, designers, and managers. I also shared it at NACIS 2021 in Oklahoma City.

“Can’t You Just…”

As the only cartographer at my company, I often need to explain to colleagues what I do and why cartography is more complicated than they assume. I’ve developed an example-packed talk that teaches non-cartographers to better understand cartographic decision-making, including necessary trade-offs and the logical framework behind seemingly simple style choices. My NACIS talk will help cartographers better explain this complexity to others and challenge the assumptions behind questions that begin, “Can’t you just….”

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