The Old School, Exton Street
London, England SE1 8UE

Maps: The Secret Sign System.

Everybody loves maps. The treasure them, stick them on walls, stuff them in glove compartments or in the bottom of drawers, and most significant of all, they keep them long after they have ceased to be of any use. But the cartographic paradox is that whilst maps are given great respect, very few people can actually understand them. The crux of the problem is that the sign system use by cartographers is a secret only really understood by fellow cartographers.
This talk will lift the lid on this secret world, to show how cartographers make maps, what rules they use, the symbols, the signs; and most importantly the principles by which they work. Having shown then how unreadable maps are made the talk will then describe how to make maps that people can actually read. What most cartographers lack is a sense of graphic design, how to present geographic information that can be read easily by almost anyone. What graphic designers lack is a sense of the discipline associated with map making.
This talk will show how a combination of graphic and cartographic skills can make maps anyone can understand at a glance.

Alan Collinson is a professional cartographer of 50 years standing, a Fellow and Council Member of the British Cartographic Society, and a specialist in the communication of geographical information through the medium of map design.

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Added by Sign Design Society on November 11, 2008