Annual Report: 2019

Friends, I was very fortunate to receive support from a number of you in 2019. And, continuing what is becoming an annual tradition, I want to be transparent in reporting back on what your support has enabled me to do.

In no particular order, in 2019, I was able to:

  • Conduct a series of livestream events on YouTube (videos here). I wasn’t sure how this would go, but I was pleased to see a couple dozen people (in one case, over 50!) show up to talk about maps with me. I have hopes of doing more of these in 2020, though I need to work through some health issues first.
  • Give a free webinar to the Alaska Arc Users Group in January 2019
  • Oversee the reprints of the first three volumes of the Atlas of Design. This includes creating an all-new version of the first volume. I continue to manage reprint orders for NACIS, making sure they get passed to the distributor and that books get into the hands of people who have been waiting for them.
  • Serve on a few groups with my fellow cartographers, including
    • NACIS Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee
    • An advisory group for the CaGIS Map Competition
    • A working group that is proposing standard elevation models, to help research and development of new relief techniques.
  • Answer a lot of questions via email. People write to me a number of times each year asking for software help (especially Blender), career advice, interviews for high/middle school projects, or map critiques. I try to take the time to write back to everyone.
  • Do a lot of cyanotyping. I had a lot of fun exploring this printing technique, and some potential cartographic uses. The support of my patrons helped buy some of my supplies, and also enabled me to cover the expense of sending free prints to a number of people.
  • Organize MonoCarto 2019, a monochrome mapping competition. I wanted to honor the less-flashy work that gets done without color, and it accidentally turned into one of the larger mapping competitions in existence. It was a lot of fun, but also a fair bit of work. And, of course, a lot of people besides me volunteered their time to make it possible.
  • Attend NACIS2019 and talk about the lessons learned from the mapping competition, and organize a special gallery showing off the Final Selection (the winners).
  • Rebuild my popular Blender tutorial to reflect a new version of the software, with a new user interface and some updated procedures. This was done hurriedly, because it turns out that a few people were just about to present it to classes and conferences! But fortunately I got it done in time.
  • Continue helping NACIS with a few things. I served for several years as the Director of Operations; while that role has ended, I’ve been answering questions and aiding in the transition. I also continue to provide AV support at the Annual Meeting (I am the keeper of the projectors).
  • In the spirit of the old FixWikiMaps project, make a couple maps for Wikipedia of old radio broadcast networks in the United States:WEAF and WJZ Chains-01.jpg
    NBC Networks.jpg
  • Serve as a judge for the GeoHipster 2020 Calendar.
  • Make one-off mappy things that get shared on my Twitter account, such as this animation about map layers (which I might use sometime in teaching):

  • Keep a few ongoing efforts up-to-date, including some edits to the 1981 linework set for Project Linework, and upgrading my ongoing collection of hypsometric tinting schemes for Mars (which I hope will eventually be valuable to someone :) ).

In the end, all of the above efforts are owed to the support of many of you out there. Your patronage helps me buy materials, afford conferences, pay for websites, and most importantly, justify taking the time away from paid work in order to write, design, and help others. As we move into 2020, I hope to continue to merit the support you have shown me. I never know exactly how much I’ll be able to do so in a given year, but I do know that I fully intend to keep up my efforts to contribute to the cartographic community. You have all taught me so much, and I will continue repay the favor as best I may.

If you’d like to support my efforts, please click one of these handy buttons.


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