#geowebchat transcript, 19 August 2014: Maps and abstraction


@mappingmashups Aug 19, 9:42am Today on #geowebchat: Maps and abstraction. When is a map no longer a map? Join the chat at 12pm PDT 3pm EDT 8pm BST. Please RT!

@erictheise Aug 19, 11:58am rippin’ circular breathing sax piece on @revsnakeens’ #NewEdge on @wmbr, #geowebchat at noon re: maps & abstraction

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 11:59am Starting in a few moments: #geowebchat about maps & abstraction. Does a “map” have to be geographic? When is realism a disadvantage w/ maps?

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:00pm As always with #geowebchat, make sure you include the hashtag in all your tweets. Follow along with us here: tweetchat.com/room/geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:00pm If you want to ignore #geowebchat, see if your twitter client can mute the hashtag. We’ll be chatting for the next hour.

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:04pm For today’s #geowebchat, let’s begin by sharing your favorite map-that’s-not-a-map. What are the boundaries of “mapping” to you?

@erictheise Aug 19, 12:04pm are we starting with 4′ 33″ today? #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:05pm @mappingmashups maps don’t have to be geographic but a “true” map has a spatial element eg: a map of the human body #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:05pm @erictheise Hah! Well, let’s take that literally: could we think of absence or whitespace on maps as a form of abstraction? #geowebchat

@erictheise Aug 19, 12:06pm i consider graphic music scores as mappings, some geo, most not. blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:07pm In fact, at @stamen yesterday we met with @erinreiss who made this map using whitespace and abstraction: seethroughmaps.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/rei… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:08pm @tinyswirl So a “true” map is somehow constrained by real-world spatial orientation of objects? #geowebchat

@mapperz Aug 19, 12:09pm #geowebchat Open Fiction Map opengeofiction.net/#map=6/59.210/… non-real geographic

@RobKitchin Aug 19, 12:09pm need to make distinction btwn spatialisation and maps. One adds spatial refs to non-spatial data & vizs, other vizs spatial data #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:09pm @tinyswirl Reminds me of the distinction between #dataviz (spatial orientation undefined) and #sciviz (layout defined) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:10pm @tinyswirl …this leaving #geoviz in between, where two or three dimensions are fixed, but data overlays need not be. #geowebchat

@erictheise Aug 19, 12:10pm seems that there’s a certain tipping point where absence becomes abstraction, @mappingmashups, but absence can also focus. #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:11pm @mappingmashups IMO, yes. Whether it’s sketched on the back of an envelope or a cartographic masterpiece. Or memorised! #geowebchat

@erictheise Aug 19, 12:11pm “vignetting” is a type of absence, @mappingmashups, but the intent is to make you focus on cartographer’s agenda. #geowebchat

@map_ebooks Aug 19, 12:11pm Our notion of abstraction is based on predicate mapping which maps predicate symbols into abstract predicate symbols. #geowebchat

@mapperz Aug 19, 12:12pm cartogram scapetoad.choros.ch software #geowebchat #nongeo

@WxDan Aug 19, 12:12pm One of my favorites is an old XKCD “map” of IP address allocations. Is this really a map or just dataviz? xkcd.com/195/ #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:12pm Ooh, welcome to #geowebchat and to twitter, @map_ebooks!

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:13pm @mappingmashups I think I follow! lol new to #geowebchat

@rmcooper4 Aug 19, 12:13pm @map_ebooks “predicate mapping”? Where/Who does that idea come from? #intrigued #geowebchat

@erictheise Aug 19, 12:13pm as labels drop off of maps & geometry comes to the fore, that’s when abstract/concrete oscillates, @mappingmashups #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:14pm @mapperz Cartograms are a good example of abstraction and geo/nongeo. Raises question of what geographic position is needed for. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:15pm @mapperz the spatial orientation on most cartograms mainly to help reader find data points (based on familiarity w/ other maps) #geowebchat

@mapperz Aug 19, 12:16pm @mappingmashups Voronoi treemap #maps via @kennethfield cartonerd.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/vorono… #nongeo #geowebchat pic.twitter.com/WPbes9Qa8I

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:18pm @WxDan The equivalent of a “Mind Map” for the ‘net. Two things with a *perceived* spatial element (eg: a “train of thought”). #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:18pm @rmcooper4 @map_ebooks “predicate mapping” comes from a markov chain, no? So meta. #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:19pm @RobKitchin @WxDan Ah, that makes the term clearer for me now. Thank you #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:19pm RT @RobKitchin: @WxDan It’s a spatialisation. We put 100s in the Atlas of Cyberspace. Free PDF download: kitchin.org/atlas/contents… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:21pm @tinyswirl @WxDan Mind Maps and Mental Maps seem to mean different things to non-geographers and geographers #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:22pm @tinyswirl @RobKitchin @WxDan & the spatialization isn’t always simply perceived or subjective. Self-organizing maps for ex #geowebchat

@map_ebooks Aug 19, 12:23pm (But by spatialisation I do not mean merely visualisation: a person who can only visualise can only take a limited view #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:25pm @map_ebooks Are you talking about 3+ dimensions? Or are you referring to non-visual (ie tactile) ways of knowing space? #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:26pm @mappingmashups @RobKitchin @WxDan Disagree. Self-organizing maps definitely have perceived spatial element. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:27pm RT @RobKitchin: @tinyswirl @WxDan usually uses a measure such as semantic proximity that can be used to create spatial referents #geowebchat

@RobKitchin Aug 19, 12:28pm @tinyswirl @mappingmashups @WxDan after constructed but not necessarily beforehand. That’s what spatialisation creates #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:28pm @tinyswirl @RobKitchin @WxDan I mean the spatiality is not determined by the map-maker’s subjective perception. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:32pm @RobKitchin Is each spatialization a one-off only valid for that visualization? Is “real” geog the only shared spatialization? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:33pm What distortions of spatial locations or artificial spatializations persist and take on lives of their own? Subway maps? #geowebchat

@map_ebooks Aug 19, 12:33pm multidimensional visualizations are not well-suited for this problem bc of the volume of information and its unstructured nature #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:34pm @RobKitchin @WxDan Ah, yes I think I misunderstood what @mappingmashups was getting at. Actual spatial=map (vs created spatial)? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:36pm RT @RobKitchin: @mappingmashups to a certain degree, but the same rule set and data should produce same/similar spatialisations #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:38pm @tinyswirl Yeah, it’s the challenge of communicating w/ the constraints of twitter. I think I wasn’t explaining well. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:39pm MT @RobKitchin: subway maps are topological maps not spatialisations. Don’t add spatial to non-spatial data but rearrange layout #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:42pm @mappingmashups This is my first #geowebchat so I’m just being a bit slow.

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:42pm So when can/should spatializations (aka data visualizations) borrow from the language of cartography? When shouldn’t they? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:44pm Usually I see data viz adopt cartographic styles for purely aesthetic reasons, like infographics using the tropes of subway maps #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:46pm @EcoAndrewTRC Good point. In the sense that all projections (& all maps) are abstractions, Mercator is like a shared mental map #geowebchat

@RobKitchin Aug 19, 12:46pm @mappingmashups when they are used as a map; Difference spatialisation & data viz per se is map-like qualities of former #geowebchat

@TheMapSmith Aug 19, 12:46pm @mappingmashups There is probably an academic distinction between carto and non-carto, but aren’t they both “design”? #geowebchat

@RobKitchin Aug 19, 12:47pm @mappingmashups we have an extensive discussion of maps vs spatialisations and cartographic theory in Mapping Cyberspace book #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:49pm @TheMapSmith Yes, design should be a part of both, & many of the same design guidelines apply to carto & non-carto. But not all? #geowebchat

@TheMapSmith Aug 19, 12:50pm Sometimes I put north arrows on infographics just for fun, does that count? #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:50pm Graphic with baby – spatialization or map? MT”@Visually: ow.ly/Av44c by @LandonDonovan81 pic.twitter.com/qfvQQQm9rs” #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:52pm @TheMapSmith Since nobody puts them on maps anymore, why not? #geowebchat

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:53pm @mappingmashups @TheMapSmith which ones aren’t? #geowebchat

@RobKitchin Aug 19, 12:54pm @tinyswirl @Visually @LandonDonovan81 Neither. The graphic conveys no meaningful information through its spatial arrangement #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:56pm @tinyswirl @TheMapSmith That might be a topic for another #geowebchat. :) Similar to prev chats about whether cartographers are obsolete…

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:57pm Well, we are nearing the end of our #geowebchat about maps and abstraction. What did we miss? Any aspects we should revisit another time?

@TheMapSmith Aug 19, 12:57pm Another major non-spatial/spatial visualization is the straight line diagram. Very important in some industries #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:57pm Whether (and how) cartographic design rules differ from non-cartographic design rules would definitely be a good future #geowebchat topic.

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 12:59pm @TheMapSmith Right. Flattening 2 or 3 dimensions into a 1 dimensional “map”. Interesting. #geowebchat.

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 12:59pm @mappingmashups sounds like a #geowebchat I can learn a lot from :)

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 1:00pm Our next #geowebchat will be tangentially related: we’ll be discussing the role of hand-drawn maps in the geoweb era. Tue Sep 2, same time.

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 1:01pm Thanks everyone for joining today’s #geowebchat. Look forward to chatting with you next time!

@tinyswirl Aug 19, 1:02pm @mappingmashups @TheMapSmith like a proximity analysis – eg: concentration of contaminants according to distance from source? #geowebchat

@MapHugger Aug 19, 1:30pm @mappingmashups Late to #geowebchat, but my two favorite unmaps: l-degrees.com thebolditalic.com/articles/3202-…

@jasondowns Aug 19, 4:13pm @mappingmashups I always miss #geowebchat because of time differences. Today’s looked awesome. I love this particular topic. Thanks.

@mappingmashups Aug 19, 5:12pm Definitely relevant to today’s #geowebchat: “Experiments in Literary Cartography” visualandcriticalstudies.com/2014/08/11/ber…

@mappingmashups Aug 20, 10:28pm Here’s @xkcd using California as a y-axis xkcd.com/1410/ cc @TheMapSmith #geowebchat pic.twitter.com/8bY9BFLNAa

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