Ethical Problems in Cartography: A Roundtable Commentary


  • Patrick McHaffie University of Kentucky
  • Sona Karentz Andrews University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Michael Dobson
  • Anonymous Anonymous



ethics, cartography,


The problem of defining and actualizing standards of ethical conduct troubles many professions, including cartography. In an attempt to formalize the ethical discourse in cartography the editors of Cartographic Perspectives invited five contributors to discuss what they perceive as important ethical problems in the discipline. The contributors were selected from the three major sectors of the cartographic enterprise: commercial mapping organizations, government mapping agencies, and university geography departments offering cartography programs. The contributors identify personal and institutional vigilance in product quality assurance, map plagiarism through violation of copyright law, and conflicts of interest as important ethical issues. The commentary concludes by questioning the nature and validity of cartography's claim to truth ("accuracy"), and asserts that cartographic ethics cannot be extricated from the values of the larger society which commissions the production of cartographic information.




How to Cite

McHaffie, P., Andrews, S. K., Dobson, M., & Anonymous, A. (1990). Ethical Problems in Cartography: A Roundtable Commentary. Cartographic Perspectives, (07), 3–13.



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