St Andrews HCI Research Group


Jan 2013

David Heyman, Purposeful Map-Design

Purposeful Map-Design: What it Means to Be a Cartographer when Everyone is Making Maps

<!–Speaker: David Heyman, Axis Maps
Date/Time: Fri, Feb. 1, 2pm
Location: School III, St Salvator’s Quad, St. Andrews–>
The democratizing technologies of the web have brought the tools and raw-materials required to make a map to a wider audience than ever before. This proliferation of mapping has redefined modern Cartography beyond the general practice of “making maps” to the purposeful design of maps. Purposeful Cartographic design is more than visuals and aesthetics; there is room for the Cartographer’s design decisions at every step between the initial earthly phenomenon and the end map user’s behavior. This talk will cover the modern mapping workflow from collecting and manipulating data, to combining traditional cartographic design with a contemporary UI/UX, to implementing these maps through code across multiple platforms. I will examine how these design decisions are shaped by the purpose of the map and the desire to use maps to clearly and elegantly present the world.
David Heyman is the founder and Managing Director of Axis Maps, a global interactive mapping company formed out of the cartography graduate program of the University of Wisconsin. Established in 2006, the goal of Axis Maps has been to bring the tenants and practices of traditional cartography to the medium of the Internet. Since then, they have designed and built maps for the New York Times, Popular Science, Emirates Airlines, Earth Journalism Network, Duke University and many others. They have also released the freely available indiemapper and ColorBrewer to help map-makers all over the world apply cartographic best-practices to their maps. Recently, their series of handmade typographic maps have been a return to their roots of manual cartographic production. David currently lives in Marlborough, Wiltshire.