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SpatialTau - Cartography is my Favorite "-graphy"

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Sponsor: Someone had to be the first sponsor of this newsletter and let me tell you I couldn’t be happier because I love companies that have a mission that allows better sharing of information. This week’s sponsor is OpenCage. I said I love their mission which is to create an easy-to-use, worldwide, affordable geocoding built on open data. I’ve used every geocoder (probably a great podcast topic) and they all have their pluses and minuses. What I love about OpenCage is they have many open geocoders behind their single API so you can pick and choose what you need, great permissive licensing, you can cache results as long as you like, no vendor lock-in, display results on ANY map and worldwide coverage continually updated by OpenStreetMap.
No credit card is needed at sign up and you pay as you go. Seriously check them out and free yourself from the user agreements of the others.
I Remember When...
Hold on, don’t hit the delete button just yet. This isn’t a, “remember when AML was so much better?” newsletter. Nah, ArcPlot was awful, there is no reason to pretend things were better. No, in 2020, we have some of the best cartography tools that have ever existed. I’m not going to pretend that I used to be good at cartography. I mean, if you ever needed a Figure 2-1, I was your guy. But let’s be honest, Figure 2-1 isn’t that exciting, it just gives you an overview and never is the map that gets shown in the Powerpoint presentation.
What I do appreciate though is the amazing cartography that exists. My Twitter feed is full of maps even when there isn’t a 30 Day Map Challenge. I can’t but not click on all those little thumbnails and think to myself, what an amazing map. Heck, one of my guilty pleasure Twitter follows is Airline Maps which brings my feed tons of amazing and awful cartography choices and ideas.
I mean this is just amazing!
I mean this is just amazing!
Most of my professional career has been using a computer language to tell a program to do something to some file. In the end, if I have a GeoJSON file or my Elastic data has been updated, I’m ecstatic. But to take the output I create and transform it into a map, that’s where I stand back and clap. It’s not that I create bad-looking maps, I mean I have figure 2-1 which is near the front of the EIS. But I realize these days most of my cartographic skills are related to my ability to take a JSON file and throw it up on a slippy map.
I really feel that this 30 Day Map Challenge is amazing and I try and like everything I see. I would encourage you to thank these people for creating maps that continue the art form known as Cartography, my favorite “-ology”.
Look Inside iPad Pro 11’s LiDAR Scanner
A Complete Guide to Misleading Election Maps - Bloomberg
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James Fee
James Fee @jamesmfee

Spatial, workflows and technology

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