Worth more than 1,000 words

from Press News, posted 08/22/2011 - 09:16

 Strange how a duck can get in the way of scholarly communication, sad when it blocks a message that is valuable.

Given Robert Cribb’s long involvement with map-making – and his success in demonstrating that serious scholarly works can be enriched by high-quality maps – we thought it would be interesting to hear his thoughts and experience on the subject. To this purpose, we first interviewed him in December 2009, shortly before his Digital Atlas of Indonesian History was finished.

Unfortunately, at this point a duck entered the picture - specifically, my duck, a wooden head on which I put my reading glasses at home when not in use. (This was where we filmed the interview.) Robert is squeezed into the left edge of the picture, the duck watches us implacably on the right.

After previewing the first clip from the interview, both Robert and I agreed we would re-film it. It was not until March this year, however, just before the ICAS/AAS conference in Honolulu, that we managed to do this. The results (with links to the actual clips on YouTube) are now posted on the Digital Atlas website.

There are 14 short film clips in total grouped under three topics:

The Cartographer

1) First encounters with map-making

2) How cartography has changed in recent years

3) The case for digital cartography

4) Challenges as a map-maker

5) Can a cartographer also be an historian?

The Case for Maps

6) What maps offer

7) Do maps depict reality or create new realities?

On Map-Making

8) What you need to begin making maps

9) Why CorelDraw or Illustrator is preferable for map-making

10) Copyright issues in map-making

11) Dealing with uncertain borders in map-making

12) Map projections and their political implications

13) The place of geographic information systems in map-making

14) Reference works on map-making

This is an interesting interview, one that we recommend to anyone who writes and publishes. And – because not everything was covered properly in the second interview that was filmed in the first – the duck even gets a look in (right from the start).

Beyond this interview is the Digital Atlas itself. To enjoy its maps in all their glory (and to print, download them, etc.) you need first to login. If you would like a brief visit there, send me a mail (to gerald[at]nias.ku.dk) and I’ll issue you a temporary visitor’s pass.


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