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November 03, 2011

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Ciaran Hughes

Maps, maps, maps...
Harry Beck's example, above, isn't a map. His engineer's schematic replaced the previous map-based solutions

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/2324304681/

which is why it works so well.
Maps are, if you like, the entry point for viewers into the world of visual communication but very rarely work in relaying information that isn't based on physical geography. They are used as symbols (like flags) to hang information, usually data, on.
I love maps. When they are maps.

Andrew Turner

Maps are more than just a visualization mechanism. Geography is a common element across disparate thematic datasets. It has a base connection to our lives and are instantly recognizable and powerful because it reflects our real-world more than abstract visualizations.

And as a civilization we have a very long history of using maps - strictly cartographic and representational. So I believe in a hundred years maps we create will be just as powerful as they are today.

Here is a presentation I gave at the Library of Congress that suggests many of these connections and what is going on today.

http://www.slideshare.net/ajturner/library-of-congress-neogeography-and-geospatial-data-preservation

Though you're also correct that geospatial data: source, measurement, etc. are valuable and currently not as available as they should be. This is changing, which will make the maps and new data even that much more powerful.

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I think everything said made a ton of sense. However, what about this? what if you added a little content? I ain't saying your information isn't good., but what if you added a headline to possibly get a person's attention? I mean maxgadney.com: Why People Love Maps is a little plain. You should glance at Yahoo's home page and note how they create post titles to get viewers to click. You might add a video or a related picture or two to grab readers interested about everything've got to say. In my opinion, it would make your posts a little livelier.

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