Geovisualization, how exciting!

This article made me really excited.  I love that it emphasizes the evolution of maps.  Now, when I am asked (as a geography student) if I make maps, I can say, “YES!”, knowing that means so much more than simply (or sometimes as we all know, not so simply!) drawing lines on a map, and actually creating a dynamic database that reflects an accumulation of spatial and non-spatial data.  The idea of maps becoming so much more than a method of visualization, but methods of visualization AND data storage, representation, data manipulation, etc is incredibly fascinating.

Despite the fact that it was entitled “Research Challenges in Geovisualization”, I managed to overlook the “challenging” aspect, and really focus on the amazing potential of geovisualization.  It’s true that there are a lot of challenges–but each challenge merely brought about excitement for the prospect of these challenges being overcome and the full potential of geovisualization being realized.

If you Google “Digital Earth” you get many various hits, but one in particular that I thought impressively captured an aspect of the integration possibilities with geovisualization is here:  This video is a TED Talk discussing Bing Maps and Digital Earths.  Obviously, there are many problems and questions that must be asked of technology such as this (as MacEachren and Kraak so thoroughly pointed out in their article), but the implications are nevertheless fantastic!

On a more technical note, I think the suggestions presented by MacEachren and Kraak were very interesting, and the emphasis on the interdisciplinary requirements of a task such as this was well noted.  The nature of geovisualization seems to require interdisciplinary work, as it is the integration of many areas of expertise, and data in many forms.  All in all, I am excited to see what the future brings for this rapidly emerging field.


MacEachren, Alan M, and Menno-Jan Kraak. “Research Challenges in Geovisualization.” Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 28.1 (2001): 3-12. Print.

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