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Cartography - Science, art and technique

Mapa de Luanda-Município-de-Luanda

It is important that people realize the power of Cartography. Cartography cannot be perceived as just a visualization tool. It, in addition to being perceived as a science with regard to projections, Coordinate Reference Systems, or other scientific elements of Mathematical Cartography, it also needs to be perceived as a technique that needs a methodology for cartographic production as well as an art that needs of creativity to produce reliable maps that convey what is represented. It is through knowledge of colors/chromatic cycle that we are able to select functional colors for the product produced, in order to attract the reader to its appreciation, highlighting the importance of the represented as a visualization product.

Reinforcing, Cartography should be seen as a science, technique and art of representing the geographical environment.

There is a term that was stamped on the wall of FAC-UAN (Faculty of Sciences of Universidade Agostinho Neto), in the topography room saying ''The Development of a Country depends on a map''. Therefore, if we really want to develop a territory, the map is indispensable. Maps and or cartographic bases are used by Engineers to design roads, dams, drainage systems or other engineering work.

The geographic location that Google displays is based on the map. We can see here that even large companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and others have been investing a lot in this science for years, with Google having acquired Keyhole inc in 2004 and renamed the product purchased by Google Earth, an investment that today generates billions of dollars to Google.

Microsoft has its collection of maps called Bing Maps and there are other systems based on location today where cartography is the basis.

Google Earth TOPOGIS, Google Maps

Apple Maps - How did it come about?

Before Apple had its maps app, Apple used Google Maps on its devices, by default Google Maps was a pre-installed application to help the IOS system when it came to the location base. Its own system of search and visualization of maps was launched in 2012 when apple decides to buy small companies in this segment and hiring specialists mainly from India and others worldwide, in the year of the launch of Apple Maps there were several complaints from users due to constant bugs, distorted maps, low quality and incorrectly named locations forcing apple to remove the application and ask users to use Google Maps again, until apple improves the same and returns and to this day it remains functional and with a good experience of user.

It is also important to emphasize here that even the security of a country depends on a good cartographic product that is constantly updated. Maps are still useful in marketing, health and many and/or all other areas of knowledge..

Drought in southern Angola.

To see one more of the importance of cartography, cartographic products can help to monitor the drought in the regions affected by this calamity.

For this reason, UNDP hired TOPOGIS for a training session for technicians from the southern region of Angola to learn the production of various maps (vegetation index, water index, hydrographic basins and others that are produced by semi-automated techniques by Digital Image Processing using satellite images), throughout the training, the basics of Geographic Information Systems were also taught, which helps in decision making based on location.

Therefore, ask yourself not to ignore maps by studying and analyzing them and seeing them as an element of science and art.

Adapted from the Geominuto project. Watch video on this topic

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By: Rosario Dilo


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