Richard Treves, whose Google Earth Design blog concerns itself with design issues surrounding the effective use of KML, has been interviewing the chairman of the UK’s Society of Cartographers, Steve Chilton, with part 1 and part 2 now out. Steve Chilton says, among other things:
Now we have the so called neo-geographers […]. The development of tools and techniques such as APIs […], Google Earth and geo-tagging, have considerably lowered the entry level skills for anyone to get into the spatial arena, and massively increased the number and influence of data users (the new map producers). […]
These neo-geographers (or even neo-cartographers) have two particular and notable characteristics. Firstly, they invariably have no knowledge and understanding of cartographic principles, but more importantly don’t care about them. In all probability they would like to turn these principles on their head and even throw them out altogether.
So called?!! :-) What I think distinguishes neogeographers from mere paper cartographers is that because neogeographers often come from a web-development background, they find it normal to separate content and presentation. Meanwhile, virtual globes like Google Earth sidestep the need to compensate for the constraints of a flat sheet of paper when visualizing data. Complaining that neogeographers don’t know their Peters projection from their Mercator projection is like complaining that car drivers these days don’t know how to crank-start an automobile.
I guess I just proved his point:-)