The one hundred and first issue of Cartographic Perspectives marks a time of change for the journal. In her final letter as editor, Amy Griffin took the opportunity of publishing the 100th issue of CP to look backwards at our earliest days and to reflect upon the changes that have occurred over our thirty-four years of existence. I’d like both to thank Amy for her phenomenal work as editor, and to echo her encouragement that readers take a moment to look through our online archives (cartographicperspectives.org) to explore the history of our journal and, through that, the histories of both our organization and the field of cartography itself. That’s not to suggest that NACIS or Cartographic Perspectives are commensurate with cartography or one another; rather, it’s to remind us all that there’s value in tracing the lines of thought that have led us to the present, that influence and structure the lines we place on our maps.

Reading through the archive over the past month or two has led me to contemplate my own role as the tenth editor of the journal and what that might mean for its future. What drew me to Cartographic Perspectives was what, I hope, draws many of us into roles within the NACIS organization—a desire to give back to a community from which we’ve drawn so much. I still remember my first presentation at a NACIS conference. It was my first conference presentation as a graduate student and it did not go well. But, rather than the typical scorn or side-eyed looks one receives in many environments, I was met with encouragement—critical feedback, but offered in a productive and welcoming manner. From there, the NACIS meeting rapidly became something I’ve looked forward to every year and something to which I’ve dragged countless friends and colleagues. I’ve been around long enough to now watch as my former students bring their students, a chain of introduction that spans generations and builds community across spatial and temporal divides. As I take over Cartographic Perspectives, it’s with an eye towards that experience. I take seriously the question of how CP can reflect the NACIS community at large and, as that community confronts issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, how might CP continue to do so as well.

Through the support of the NACIS organization, CP is able to publish peer-reviewed research in a fully open source format; with high resolution, color imagery; and without the need to charge page fees. As such, it’s a truly special journal, one that I hope to continue to grow in the coming years with the support of an editorial board and section editors both old and new. On that front, and before introducing the contributions found in this issue, I’d like to call attention to some changes that have occurred on the board and amongst our section editors. First, I’d like to thank Alicia Cowart (practical cartographer’s corner) and Nicholas Bauch (visual fields) for stepping into their editorial roles. Additionally, Rich Donohue will be taking over views on cartographic education after this issue, as Fritz Kessler transitions off. I’d also like to welcome Luke Bergmann, Meghan Kelly, Bill Limpisathian, Jennifer Mapes, and Joanna Merson to our editorial board; each will bring years of experience and a unique perspective to shaping our journal. But we also bid farewell to Cynthia Brewer who, after many years on the editorial board, not to mention countless contributions to the NACIS community at large, is taking a well earned break and stepping down from her position. All told, these changes hopefully signal the continued health of our journal and will guide its growth in the coming years.

There is more to say and more to come with respect to the journal and some exciting initiatives we have planned; however, while those take shape, issue 101 contains articles and research that will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers. The issue features two peer-reviewed articles, entries in both the practical cartographer’s corner and views on cartographic education sections, and six book reviews. The first article, by Thomas Mantzaris, asks us to reconsider the relations between maps and literature in light of “multimodal literature: texts that are conceptualized and created as a synthesis of meaning-making elements on the page surface” (10). Taking a collection of sixteen works as a case study, Mantzaris proposes a taxonomy for understanding the relationship between maps and literary texts that better understands multimodal texts and the opportunities they offer for novel forms of cross-disciplinary artistic collaborations. The second, by Harrison Cole, rigorously examines a realm of mapping that’s too often been passed over: tactile maps intended for use by blind and low vision readers. By combining a multivalent consideration of accessibility that looks beyond the immediate technology in question with a focus on cartography specifically as opposed to media at large, Cole has produced an important intervention in this area. While the results suggest additional research is needed, his clearly structured methodology and analysis open new pathways for cartographers interested in accessibility.

Outside of the peer reviewed sections of the journal, Gene Trantham offers an applied approach to improving hillshades in common GIS tools in the practical cartographer’s corner. In views on cartographic education, Heather Rosenfeld offers reflections on ungrading two semesters of “cartography-oriented” courses at Smith College. As higher education continues to change in response to new generations of students, new technologies, and new conditions of instruction, these sorts of insights and reflections are of paramount importance in seeking effective alternatives for the future of cartographic education. Guided by Mark Denil, the section editor, our reviews run the gamut from an atlas of a contemporary state park to the latest by Mark Monmonier, a historical examination of the rural addressing system developed by John Byron Plato. Also featured are a history of William Smith and the origins of geology as a formal, recognized scientific practice, a book focused on helping designers produce better maps, and an exploration of the pioneering graphic design and mapping work of Emma Willard. All told, these reviews offer multiple entry points into cartography, highlighting the history, present, and potential futures of the field.

With that, I will once more thank my predecessors for helping to build Cartographic Perspectives into the journal it is today. I look forward to serving our community in the months and years to come.


Jim Thatcher
Oregon State University