Call for Papers: Special Cartographic Perspectives Issue on Aesthetics in Mapping

Special editors: Aileen Buckley, ESRI, and Bernie Jenny, Oregon State University

At last year’s annual fall NACIS meeting (October 18-19), a special series of events took place around the subject of the aesthetics of mapping. The goal was to bring together members of the NACIS community and invited participants from outside the cartographic community to encourage cross-disciplinary communication around the central subject of the aesthetics of mapping. The events included a forum that convened during the first two sessions on the first day of the conference. It was clear that the subject of aesthetics and mapping is of great interest to many in the cartographic community as well as outside of the cartographic mainstream. As a result, we are compiling a special issue of Cartographic Perspectives (CP), the online NACIS journal, around this theme.

All papers will be carefully reviewed by at least three reviewers. Papers can be submitted in the formats below following the CP author instructions ( Accepted papers will be published in the special CP issue.

  • Research article (2500 words or more)
  • Review paper on historical or current developments or ideas (2500 words or more)
  • Short papers on a select aspect of the topic (1000‐2000 words)
  • Short opinion piece describing a select viewpoint (1000‐2000 words)
  • Comments on a topic raised during the aesthetics sessions at the fall 2012 NACIS meeting (1000‐2000 words)
  • Design study using commented map examples (1000‐2000 words)
  • Hidden treasure ‐ very short article identifying and explaining the significance of outstanding articles, figures, ideas and maps published in the past that are perhaps not well known by most cartographers (500 words)

Important dates

  • March 1 ‐ Paper submission
  • March 22 – Notice of acceptance
  • April 19 Final camera‐ready submission
  • The special issue will be released in May.

Please send submissions to Aileen Buckley ( or Bernie Jenny (

New Commission web site

The new International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commission on Map Design was approved at the International Cartographic Conference in Paris July 2011. It is designed to foster discussion, exchange of ideas and the development and spread of the principles and practice of high quality, effective cartographic and infographic design.

Good design and better mapping is core to effective spatial communication and the Commission is focused on engaging international experts from a wide range of fields to provide a body of knowledge that guides cartography as it tackles the challenges brought about by GIS, the internet, cloud-based computing, pervasive web-based map services and the mashup culture. Such changes bring with them new map-makers who have not been formally trained in cartography yet still require knowledge of the basic tenets of good cartographic design; and new principles that are required for emerging cartographic landscapes (e.g. temporal, animated, interactive and 3D). Additionally, emerging production and display environments require new approaches to effectively implement well-understood design techniques alongside tackling the challenges and harnessing the opportunities brought about by new technologies.

The web site of the Commission is now live…if you’re reading this then you’ve already found it! Welcome…and please participate by joining using the subscribe panel on the right.