Next #geowebchat, October 15: Form vs function in web cartography

In our next #geowebchat, we will continue some of the discussions begun at the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) meeting. How can web maps balance form and function? Why are style and content so often at odds?

At NACIS, Andy Woodruff (@awoodruff) argues that instead of “form over function” we’re seeing more and more “code over content”, with web maps that seem more interested in showing off flashy code examples rather than communicating meaningful content. (Link to session: In Defense of Bad Maps)

On the other hand, Martin Elmer’s (@MapHugger) survey of viral maps suggests that instead of a surfeit of over-designed maps, we are instead seeing a flood of viral maps that are simply-designed and quickly made, which spread because of their catchy content rather than flashy design. (Link to session: Planning for Reblogs: Cartography and Virality, Wired Map Blog link)

Either way, examples of web maps that successfully communicate meaningful content while also excelling technically and aesthetically are few and far between. In this #geowebchat, we will ask: what makes a successful web map? How can web cartographers balance style and content? Do we need new ways to judge geoweb cartography, or do the old rules of traditional cartography still apply?

As always, the chat takes place at 12pm PDT, 3pm EDT, 8pm BST, on Tuesday October 15. You can join or follow the discussion by logging in to twitter and following the #geowebchat hashtag.

For more information about #geowebchat, and to read transcripts of previous chats, go here:

Please forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested. Attendees of #NACIS2013 are particularly encouraged to join, but everyone is welcome.

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