Seminar in Cartography:
Cartography on the Internet

Geography 761
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Spring Semester 1995

Michael P. Peterson
Visiting Associate Professor

Seminar Description

This seminar will examine the growth of computer networks and their effect on the creation, design, content, and distribution of maps. The problems associated with map distribution will be examined. Network concepts will be introduced, including the use of FTP, Mosaic, and html scripting. The relevant file formats of JPEG, Acrobat, QuickTime, and MPEG will be examined and Internet map/atlas authoring will be discussed.


(1) Peterson, Michael P. (1995). Interactive and Animated Cartography. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

(2) Dougherty, Dale and Koman, Richard. (1994). The Mosaic Handbook. O'Reilly & Associates. Cost: $29.95
This book comes in three versions - one each for the Macintosh, MS-Windows for PC, and x-Windows for UNIX. Buy the one that would be most useful to you. The book includes software that you can install on your computer (if you have one) that will help you test your html scripts. You will need a modem and some type of Internet connection to access the Mosaic sites from home. You can also use NetScape - essentially identical to Mosaic - in the University computer labs. The book can be also be ordered directly from O'Reilly & Associates in California at (800) 998-9938. There is no shipping charge and they can deliver the book in 7-10 days.

Assignments / Papers

1. Mosaic Biographical Sketch
Purpose: Learn html scripting.
Assignment: Create a biographical sketch of yourself using the html scripting language. Include name, campus address, e-mail address, educational background, courses taken for degree, thesis/ dissertation topic, professional goals, and picture (if possible).

2. Review of two Internet Map Sites
Purpose: Gain further familiarity with Internet. Develop the ability to critically analyze the quality of maps on the Internet.
Assignment: Evaluate the user interface, content, cartographic quality of Internet sites that incorporate maps. Write a review of the sites in html.

3. Final Project and Presentation
I've included some final project ideas below. Some of these topics are rather broad and will need to be narrowed-down. We will discuss more possible projects in the seminar. I'm sure that you will also develop your own ideas for a project during the course of the semester. I have reserved the week before spring break to finalize your final project topic.
All final projects should be presented in the form of a Mosaic page. You can implement a linking structure to incorporate figures. As you will learn, the linking structure can also be used to access other sites.

1) Design and implement a prototype Mosaic map site. The `home page' would describe the purpose / potential audience. It would then provide examples for how spatial information of some type could be disseminated over a network. The importance of the project would not be the maps themselves but rather the conceptional linking of information between map, text, pictures, animation, and video.

2) How will map distribution over the Internet change the design and content of maps? What are the limitations of this medium that control the presentation and use of spatial information?

3) Investigate the commercial aspects of map distribution over the Internet. What advantages would there be to the company and the consumer? What is the present conception of the commercialization of Internet services? 4) What is the current conception of the significance of Internet on the distribution of information? Examine McLuhan's concept of the Electronic Village. If these networks "bring people closer together," how will people's conception of space and of the world change as a result?

5) Examine the role of the Internet in the dissemination of maps that are designed for printing. How can this currently be accomplished? How will the design of printed maps change as a result?

6) What is the current state of hypermedia research? What possibilities exist for the incorporation of hyper-links within maps? How can these be implemented within Mosaic?

7) Internet crosses international borders. What are the relevant issues in the international distribution of maps? What are the problems in translation and map design?

8) What are the possibilities for using Internet services in the classroom for the presentation of maps? What are the present capabilities for this? Why type of issues need to be addressed concerning the design of maps for use by a group of people?

The final grade will be calculated in the following way:
10% Biographical Sketch assignment
30% Internet map site evaluation (5% on presentation)
40% Final project (10% on presentation)
20% Seminar discussion participation


Date Topic (Readings) Jan. 12: Introduction to course Jan. 17: Introduction to Mosaic, FTP, html scripting (Chapter 1 in MH) Jan. 19: html scripting (bio scripting assignment) (Chapter 7 in MH) Jan. 24: Maps and Medium (Foreword, Preface, Chapter 1 in IAC) Jan. 26: Human Geographic Information System (Chapter 2 in IAC) Jan. 31: Human Geographic Information System (Chapter 2 in IAC) Feb. 2: No Class (I'll be in Wash. D.C.) Feb. 2: html bio script due Feb. 7: Mosaic site evaluation assignment. Discussion of criteria for evaluation. Feb. 9: Maps for the Mind (Chapter 3 in IAC) Feb. 14: Maps for the Mind (Chapter 3 in IAC) Feb. 16: Multimedia and Hypermedia (Chapter 7 in IAC; Chapter 6 in MH) Feb. 21: Animation (Chapter 8 in IAC) Feb. 23: The Interactive Map (Chapter 10 in IAC) Feb. 28: The Animated Map (Chapter 11, 12 in IAC) Mar. 2: No Class (Work on Mosaic site evaluations). Mar. 7: Mosaic site evaluations. Presentation/Discussion (20 minutes each) Mar. 9: Mosaic site evaluations. Presentation/Discussion (20 minutes each) Mar. 14: Mosaic site evaluations. Presentation/Discussion (20 minutes each) Mar. 16: Final Project Discussion / Ideas / Methods Mar. 21: No Class - Individual Project Discussions (15 minutes each) Mar. 23: No Class - Individual Project Discussions (15 minutes each) Apr. 4: Advanced html scripting Readings to be assigned Apr. 6: Advanced html scripting Readings to be assigned Apr. 11: Graphic Processing, Image Processing (Chapter 5, 6 in IAC) Apr. 13: Multimedia scripting (Chapter 9 in IAC) Apr. 18: No Class (Work on final projects.) Apr. 20: No Class (Work on final projects.) Apr. 25: Final Project Presentations (30 minutes each) Apr. 27: Final Project Presentations (30 minutes each) May 2: Final Project Presentations (30 minutes each) May 4: Final Project Presentations (30 minutes each) Final: May 9