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First there was neogeography, a convenient label for the practice of geography outside of the formally accepted geographical disciplines. A convenient label, but one which caused some controversy and mud slinging with the aforementioned formally accepted disciplines being labelled paleogeography and with a strong emphasis on the pejorative.

So it seems almost inevitable that we now have a proposal from the International Cartographic Association to form a commission on neocartography, looking into the practise of making maps outside of the formally accepted cartography profession.

Map and Push Pin

The proposed chair for the ICA Commision on Neocartography is the UK’s Steve Chilton and a worthy chairmanship it is too. In addition to his work contributing to OpenStreetMap, Steve is also one of the forces behind expanding the remit and reach of the UK’s Society of Cartographers, with last year’s Summer School having a strong emphasis on what could now be called neocartography.

You can read the proposal over at the SoC’s web site as well as Ed Parson’s commentary; sign up and add your voice to supporting this exciting and, to my mind, essential broadening of the world of all this cartographical.

Thankfully there’s been no mention of paleocartography yet; it’s to be hoped that with neocartography we look beyond the label to what is trying to be achieved rather than fixating on convenient labels and pigeon-holing concepts.

Photo Credits: nrivera on Flickr.
Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)
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Gary

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Gary is co-founder of Malstow Geospatial, which provides handmade, professional geospatial consulting. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them and even makes them.


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