This issue marks an anniversary for CP, the hundredth issue of the journal. CP 1 was published in 1989, and the inaugural co-editors were David DiBiase and Karl Proehl. Although I was not among its initial readers, with my first association with NACIS still a decade into the future, I can glean from those early issues that CP was established because the Society had outgrown its previous communications fora: two newsletters, called Map Gap and Cartographic Information. In the new journal, one aim was to publish original material rather than to (primarily) synthesize and collect reports of recent developments in the field. The new journal was also envisaged as a means for linking the multiple constituencies that had engaged with the organization as it grew and matured, a task that was harder before the internet connected us all.

Reading David’s message to NACIS members from that first issue, my eye was caught by the following quote:

My goal for CP is that it be a forum every member feels comfortable contributing to, and that each issue contain a variety of contributions from several members. All are encouraged to submit reviews, reports, abstracts of “fugitive cartographic literature,” notices, open letters, comments or complaints. There is a place in this Bulletin for a range of prose forms, from the formal solicited article to the informal notice posted on the “Cart Lab Bulletin Board.” Graphical submissions are also welcome.

Although CP no longer has a section called the cart lab bulletin board, in part because so few universities have been wise enough to retain their cartography labs (in my view missing a great opportunity for education and community engagement), CP does still have a range of sections where members working in different contexts and with different mapping-related interests can contribute. For those of us whose everyday work does not involve writing in public fora, contributing to CP may seem daunting. I can say that my section editor colleagues, our Assistant Editor, Daniel Huffman, and I have worked hard to support anyone who wants to contribute to the journal to develop that contribution, no matter their level of comfort or prior experience with writing for a journal.

Over its existence, CP has had nine Editors (Figure 1) each of whom has helped to build the journal in their own way, responding to the needs of the Society at the time, and to broader changes in cartography and in academic publishing. Under their leadership, CP has stood apart from other cartographic journals through its distinctive outlook and its willingness to innovate in ways that have often been ahead of their time. For example, from 1999 onwards we offered authors the ability to publish figures in color, which was not commonplace at the time, much less made available—as we did—at no cost to the author. We were the first cartographic journal to become fully open access, a decision that was implemented in 2011 after consulting with the NACIS membership. CP is still the only cartographic journal that supports open-access publication with no fees for authors. Like the Society’s decision to record and publish presentations from the Annual Meeting on YouTube, being an open-access journal is true to the spirit of the Society in that it seeks to enable the widest possible range of people to participate in our community. Cost, at least, is no barrier to reading the journal. Visually, too, CP has remained at the leading edge. Tanya Buckingham Andersen, who helped lead the transition to an open-access model, took the opportunity to update the look of CP. Our layout, which has since been further developed by Daniel Huffman, draws upon the design traditions of our profession to present a more accessible alternative to the bland, authoritative style (to use a category coined by Ian Muehlenhaus, one of our editorial board members) used by most scholarly journals.

Figure 1. Cartographic Perspectives editors, 1989–2022 (CP1–100).

Figure 1. Cartographic Perspectives editors, 1989–2022 (CP1–100).

Our journal’s distinctive approach aims to represent the full diversity of cartographic practice. Most scholarly journals publish only materials that are directed towards an audience of academics and researchers. From the very beginning, CP has had sections that speak to practicing cartographers, those working with cartographic collections, and those working on the artistic side of cartography. Because our book reviews are written not only by academics, they highlight where books have value for cartographers working in roles other than research, making our reviews section stronger and more useful to the wider membership than that of a typical journal.

There is more we can do to support participation by a diverse range of cartographers, and the journal’s editorial board will listen to and consider any suggestions made by Society members that might widen participation in the journal’s conversations. As I thought about how I might try to understand the trajectory of the journal over time, I sat down to look at all of the “featured articles” from CP 1 onwards.1 Inspired by the society’s discussions about diversity and inclusion over the past several years, I decided to focus on trying to understand how CP has or has not been representative of different voices in the field. Limiting myself to only this subset of articles necessarily offers a constrained view of the journal, but as the section for which I have been most responsible, it is the section I know the best. Moreover, as the section with the greatest number of “gatekeepers”—the peer reviewers as well as the editor—there may be a greater number of barriers to participation by a diverse set of authors in the “featured articles” section than in the other sections. Although there are many dimensions we could examine as far as whose voices are being heard (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, age, employment sector), few of them can be understood without the systematic collection of demographic data, which CP has not done for its authors. However, unlike some personal characteristics like race/ethnicity or age, we can attempt to infer gender identities from author names with a reasonable level of accuracy. This admittedly forces a binary classification of a non-binary aspect of a person’s identity. Although this is not optimal, in the absence of historical self-identification information, this is the only available information to understand gender differences in participation. Where possible, inferred gender identity was cross-referenced with pronouns the author used on a webpage or other publication.

Figure 2 shows the participation rate by females in the “featured articles” category of submissions published in CP, across the journal’s history. The authorship data are aggregated into ten-issue units to smooth the spikiness of the trends that result from small numbers of articles when considering single issues. The chart also shows the percentage of papers that had female first authors, who are assumed to have made the most substantial contribution to the work described in the article. Female participation has ranged from 27% to 54%, with three groups of issues exceeding the 50% threshold, and an overall participation rate of 40%. Females are less likely to have been first authors on the papers I examined than to have participated in some other way. Female first authorship rates have ranged from 19% to 43%, with an overall rate of 29%. There does not appear to be a strong upward or downward trend in either overall participation or first authorship rates, and the analysis would benefit from contextual data on female participation in the broader field of cartography over the time period. Nevertheless, having basic knowledge of participation levels is a prerequisite to identifying and understanding participation barriers, and this analysis presents a very modest first step in that direction.

Figure 2. Female authorship in Cartographic Perspectives, issues 1–100.

Figure 2. Female authorship in Cartographic Perspectives, issues 1–100.

Throughout its existence, CP has published on a wide range of topics of cartographic interest, ranging from humanities-influenced research on the role of maps in literature and art, the contributions to the history of cartography, or philosophies of mapping; all the way to science- and engineering-influenced research that develops new algorithms or mapping production technologies. Somewhere in the middle of these two poles, of course, is design-focused research wherein a new design is developed and sometimes evaluated with map users.

While some topics have been of persistent interest, others have changed through the journal’s history as practices of mapmaking and the membership of the Society have themselves changed. An examination of the fifty words most frequently found in the abstracts of published papers (again aggregated into ten-issue units) reveals, unsurprisingly, that map(s), mapping, cartographic, cartography, data (or its counterpart information), and design always make an appearance. Atlas(es) have also often been a perennial point of discussion, moving up and down the frequency rankings, with a major pulse appearing due to issue 20, which was a special issue focused on atlas design. Other words appear only over shorter time periods. For example, abstracts of early issues often mentioned production, paper, computer, software, animation, retrieval, and electronic, perhaps because production technologies were still undergoing major changes at that point. Internet and web make their first appearances in the data for issues 21–30 and 31–40, respectively, and then return again as online in more recent issues (81–90 and 91–100). Later issues show more concern with how we are designing maps to be used and how people are using them, with words such as interaction, use, experience, and evaluation frequently mentioned in recent journal issues. Finally, we can see the influence of special issues that focus on particular themes, through the appearance of words that appear in only one or two of the aggregate units, such as art, aesthetics, terrain, ski, and emotional. Somewhat surprising is the fact that words related to coding, now used to produce many maps, do not make an appearance in the most frequent word lists of any period. This may, however, have looked quite different if all sections of the journal had been examined instead of just the featured articles.

I encourage you all to explore the CP archives. There are some fascinating pieces that appear in the journal’s history, and the author list reads like something of a who’s who in cartography, with many prominent scholars having published at least once in the journal (e.g., Waldo Tobler, Alan MacEachren, Mark Monmonier, Michael Goodchild, Ferjan Ormeling, Cynthia Brewer, Barbara Buttenfield, Rob Roth, and Anthony Robinson). Our most frequent contributors, with twelve and eleven articles, respectively, have been the NACIS stalwarts Adele Haft, who brought to our attention the role of maps in poetry and who for many years was a fixture at the Annual Meeting, and Tom Patterson, who has generously shared his knowledge of mapping terrain with the NACIS community for several decades. In this issue of CP, you can find some new work on terrain mapping that has clearly benefitted from these past publications.

On that note, in CP 100, you will find three peer-reviewed articles. In the first, Zihan Song and colleagues examine the relative success of two different genres of storytelling with maps (the longform infographic and the dynamic slideshow) and two different ways of focusing the reader’s attention on important aspects of the story (color highlighting and leader lines). Their study found that leader lines and the longform infographic format presented some advantages in making the story memorable and understandable. In the second article, Nathaniel Douglass and Carolyn Fish explore combinations of thematic terrain layers (hypsometric tints, land cover, and orthoimagery) with shaded relief produced by different methods (hand-drawn relief, multidirectional hillshade, and ray-traced relief shading). Their study examined how different combinations of these two layer types affected how map readers assessed the map’s beauty, level of realism, and the clarity of its different landforms. In the final article, Nolan Mestres breaks down the stylistic elements of Pierre Novat’s hand-painted winter panorama maps. Mestres highlights key elements that make Novat’s maps distinctive in comparison with those produced by other painters such as Heinrich Berann or James Niehues (whose maps also feature in this issue of CP). Novat’s maps, which can be found all over France in its many ski resorts, helped to shape how people in France saw mountain regions at a time when there was significant expansion of ski resorts.

In cartographic collections, Charles Preppernau interviews James Niehues, a contemporary painter who is well known for his panorama maps of ski resort areas in the United States, among other places. This beautifully illustrated interview discusses some of the challenges of creating clear yet recognizable views of terrain, and various ways that Niehues experimented with different solutions to develop his mapping style. It also introduces Niehues’s most recent project, the Great American Landscape Project.

CP100 includes three reviews. Rosemary Wardley reviews the latest atlas produced by the 2017–2018 Corlis Benefideo Award-winning team of James Cheshire and Oliver Umberti, The Atlas of the Invisible. In it, the authors aimed to reveal invisible influences on how we live in today’s world, by drawing on both new data sources and existing data sources that they visualized in new ways. In addition to enlightening us about these invisible influences, Wardley recommends the book as a design inspiration source book. R. C. Ramsey next reviews Women and GIS: Mapping their Stories, in which the Esri Press authorial team quite directly aims to make women working in the GIS and mapping disciplines more visible by profiling women with successful careers in the industry and sharing their stories of how they built a successful career. Of particular value, Ramsey notes, is the book’s discussion of how these women not only embarked on, but sustained their careers. Finally, Nat Case reviews Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Communities and Private Estates. This reference volume, part of a larger, multi-volume collection, focuses on Olmsted’s private commissions. A key point of its value, according to Case, is the way that site photos and plans are juxtaposed to better allow the reader to see how Olmsted’s vision might be brought to life within the landscape.

After this issue is published, I will be handing over the reins to the 10th editor, Jim Thatcher, who will bring fresh ideas about where to take the journal in its next phase of development. I will leave it to Jim to communicate what his ideas for the journal are, but from what I do know of his plans, I am sure his editorial philosophy will honor journal’s founding aims, and I look forward to seeing future issues that will undoubtedly include thought-provoking pieces.

Before signing off, I’d like to offer my thanks to the very large number of people who have worked with me to help produce the journal over my tenure as editor. This support, just like most of what makes NACIS tick, is almost all volunteered; for that, I am very grateful. It has been especially appreciated the last few years as I navigated some particularly challenging professional and personal circumstances in addition to the of ever-shifting COVID-land weirdness we have all travelled through. Some of these individuals have served in multiple roles and are named only once here for brevity. They include Daniel Huffman (Assistant Editor), Margot Carpenter (Cartographic Collections section editor), Nick Bauch (Visual Fields section editor), Fritz Kessler (Views on Cartographic Education section editor), Mark Denil (Reviews editor), Susan Peschel (NACIS Business Manager), previous section editors (Sarah Bell, Jake Coolidge, Matt Dooley, Terri Robar, Angie Cope, Alex Tait, Laura McCormick, Lisa Sutton), current and past editorial board members (Sarah Battersby, Raechel Bianchetti, Cynthia Brewer, Matthew Edney, Sara Fabrikant, Bernhard Jenny, Pat Kennelly, Mark Monmonier, Ian Muehlenhaus, Michael Peterson, Anthony Robinson, Amy Rock, and Robert Roth), the dozens of experts who have provided reviews of manuscripts, contributors who sent their good work to the journal, and finally, you, the readers, without whom there would be no point in producing a journal.

I encourage you to dip into this landmark issue of CP and consider how you can contribute to its cartographic conversations.

Amy Griffin (she/her)
Editor, Cartographic Perspectives

1 “Featured articles” are those that have undergone a peer-review process with several experts in the specific topic that the article addresses. Early in CP’s history, these articles were directly commissioned by the editors, but as the journal grew, it began to review and accept unsolicited contributions from authors.