Mapping

Cartography—the discipline of making maps—has a long and rich history. It’s tools and techniques have been well developed over hundreds of years, arguably thousands of years. Today, mapping is experiencing a clear ascendancy, with numerous (digital) tools enabling the mediation of all kinds of spatially-referenced data.

This resurgence is made possible by the increasing number of readily available (democratised) tools for the practice of mapping, such as Mapbox, MapTiler, Leaflet, Kartograph, CARTO and numerous other libraries and frameworks. We also have access to unprecedented levels of data, often projected on top of Google Maps and the open source project, OpenStreetMap.

It has become clear that there is significant transformation taking place and it’s been necessary to (re)define cartography over and over again as technology advances. It’s become fundamental to many new disciplines and fields such as spatial information design, communicative environments, landscape urbanism and geo-visualisation. However, many seem to have forgone the historical and theoretical lessons of cartography—realising ‘new’ approaches and techniques that are in fact not new at all—but 10/10 for effort and promoting mapping.

When Jason first trained as a cartographer, he learnt to create maps by hand with rOtring and Staedtler pens, rub-down lettering, self-adhesive tints, patterns and tapes—even scribing film. Technology has made workflow so much easier these days, releasing you of most of those tightly constrained production and reproduction restrictions, but more importantly, enabling seemingly endless representational opportunities!

It’s a great time to be creating maps!

What maps could Jason produce for you? In a nutshell, anything—just ask. From simple business location maps to complex transport infrastructure networks; decorative rural estate plans to city-wide pedestrian wayfinding maps; and choropleth maps to ‘big data’ map-based visualisations. The maps find homes in books, on street signs and on digital devices. Almost any media can be a substrate for reproduction, from water-proof non-tearing paper to vitreous enamelled metal panels.

kepler.gl

Uber—who would thought—have released kepler.gl, an open-source geospatial toolbox. It’s designed to provide the easiest way of visualising geospatial data and gaining useful insights.

Beyond HS2

This project, commissioned by Greengauge 21, required a mix of maps, infographics and DTP to create a 200-page technical report which offers a comprehensive view of what Britain’s railway should look like by the middle of the century.

Cartograms

Not to be confused with Mapbox’s nonsensical hijacking of the term for creating colour styles, cartograms are extraordinary map types. The relaunch of Worldmapper in April 2018 celebrates this form of mapping.

Google Earth

When it was first released, 16 years ago, it was amazing being able to travel around the globe and look at anywhere in such remarkable detail… and it still is today!

National Geographic

Since the very first issue in 1888, the National Geographic magazine has been the benchmark for quality researched articles supported by well-crafted graphics.

South African Game Reserve

A land owner in South Africa commissioned Jason to design and produce a map that depicted their 27,000 ha game reserve.

Goldsmiths University

Goldsmiths, University of London, commissioned Jason to create a new campus map and sign artwork

Square Up Mural

Square Up contacted Jason for ideas to decorate a reception wall for a new London HQ.

Heightfields

There is always an aspect of work that emerges out of error, experimentation and/or serendipity.

Bay Area Bike Share

Leading wayfinding practitioners, City ID, asked Jason to help develop the cartography for the Bay Area Bike Share project in San Francisco, USA.

Big Data Visualisation

Visualisations of ‘big data’ have been commonplace over the last few years, though their is still much debate to be had about the value of many of them beyond their visually interesting presentation.

A Monitor for a Cartographer?

Screen estate and colour are very important to a cartographer. Maps can be any size from A6 to more than 5m×5m square.

Ham & Petersham

Nick Avery Design commissioned Jason to produce a supporting map for a book designed for self-publishing author, Vanessa Fison.

An Open-source World

Over the last few years we have seen the release of numerous mapping platforms/frameworks to allow the manipulation and representation of open-source mapping and other spatial data.

OS Maps – the App

Recently, the Ordnance Survey (OS) updated an app for both mobile and desktop devices that utilises their 1:25,000 Explorer and 1:50,000 Landranger maps—classic OS mapping at it’s best.

Swiss National Mapping

Swiss topography has long been regarded as the epitome of this form of mapping, often characterised by the iconic hill shading techniques of the late Eduard Imhof, professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Derby Riverside

derby01_lrg

Engaged by Derby City Council (DCC), Jason has designed and produced the mapping for four new wayfinding signs.

Relief Shading, Part I

As we seem to be moving in to presentational modes where 3D (mapping) is becoming ever more commonplace, enabled by software and hardware advances, it is relevant to look back