Chapter 18

Producing Cartographic Output

In This Chapter

Finding your way around a traditional map

Understanding the usefulness of cartograms

In the past, trained cartographers in cartographic production shops made almost all the maps created. Their products were hard copy maps done on parchment, paper, Mylar, or other surfaces, depending on the technology of the day. Today, large production shops are still available in government agencies such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) or in businesses (such as Rand McNally) that specialize in maps. Many professional cartographers do both production and cartographic design work for GIS companies, as well.

These large shops will likely be around for some time. They can always find a market for large volumes of well-designed maps, ranging from the general reference and atlas maps to content-specific thematic maps. Although the shops have staying power, their role in producing cartographic output is quickly and permanently changing because of the ready availability and rapidly increasing numbers of GIS software users.

When you work with GIS software, you’re the cartographer. Unfortunately, you don’t automatically inherit the training and experience that professional cartographers possess because you own the latest and greatest GIS software. GIS software provides you access to the cartographer’s toolkit, but many of those tools have specialized uses that require instruction and particular conditions under which you can ...

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