Crique of the cartography seminar (geography 761)

I really enjoyed this seminar. The class discussions were on the whole fairly interesting and thought provoking. Perhaps the dedication to addressing a set list of question during each meeting was somewhat slavish, but there ended up being enough flexibility (mainly by participants wandering down verbal byways) to keep things lively.

Centering course activities on the World Wide Web, and the use of maps on (in? what's the proper preposition for cyberspace?) was inspired. It is amazing how rapidly this technology/environment is evolving. Even over the period of the class it seems like the Web has grown and added many new features as browser software advances. It offered many possibilities to think about the metaphorical aspects of maps as tools to represent real space and/or navigate through (imaginary) spaces.

I enjoyed learning how to compose HTML, although its frustrating seeing ever fancier implementations and not being able to figure out how to do them. One suspects that tools will become available to make many of these functions easier.

What's really interesting is the thinking about how the Web will alter the concept of authorship. It seems like many new types of collaborative activities are possible where text/images/maps created by diffferent people are interweaved into some kind of whole --some new thing-- through hyper links.

Anyway, as far as the course goes, it would be nice in future courses, as resources become available (and the instructor gets to know the Web better!) to get into some of the more sophisticated aspects of Web authorship. Obviously, for cartographers, the "ISMAP" touch sensitive map is an intriguing way to make interactive products. In this regard, there could be a better link between the discussion topics and the assignments. The course is intended as a seminar but at the same time it worked a bit like a studio course. Overall, this was a pretty sucessful combination (its not always the case that courses can effectively combine applied and theoretical material). I'm not sure how to make the connection between the two types even more effective.

I guess like everybody in the class I am now really intrigued with the Web and its possibilities. But these days, as a student, I in fact don't ever have any time to browse the Web and really explore too much what's out there!