GIS Thoughts

The Printed Map is not dead yet..

Jeff at Vector One writes about the impact that the increased use of web services may have on printing. As he points out while such services make complex business process more accessible to users – I would add both professional and the hackers; there is still a need communicate spatial information and this will result in more printing.

It’s interesting that despite all our efforts, the paperless office is still a dream along with Moon bases.. I’m the only member of the OS board who does not attend board meetings with a pile of papers instead relying on my trusty Powerbook.

Maps remain the primary means of communicating geospatial information, even though a printed map does not allow the user to access the rich attributes often behind the cartography in a GIS, a large printed map or plan is still an excellent collaboration tool – you can even stick pins in it!

One day the professional user of spatial data may move to electronic displays in order to access richer attribution and higher levels on interactivity, and for consumer users we are already seeing more and more sales of mapping products for PDA’s and handheld GPS.

But the printed map will still be there I believe, with the widespread availability of geo web services and wider data availability it will become possible to print disposable maps on demand – using your own cartographic style perhaps as an expression of your personality.

I think things are about to get complicated for the Charles Close Society.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

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