46th Annual SoC Summer School

8-10th Sept 2010

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The 2010 Society of Cartographers Summer School was held at the University of Manchester from Weds 8th to Fri 10th September.

The venue in Manchester was the University’s Chancellors Conference Centre, with lectures, accommodation, meals, and social events all on a single site. The Annual Summer School is open to members and non-members and is usually held over four days in September at a different location each year. It creates an ideal opportunity to attend lectures, exhibitions, seminars and workshops, as well as to visit a broad spectrum of cartographic establishments. The friendly and relaxed atmosphere is also ideal for informal discussions with fellow cartographers and is a pleasant and stimulating way to keep up to date with new technology. It is especially beneficial for those cartographers working within small cartographic units who can perhaps remain isolated from new developments and trends within cartographic circles.  

The conference themes this year included:

Art and everyday mapping   OS OpenData
Maps and geopolitics   Transport mapping
Mapping Manchester   Crowdsourcing and open data

The Wednesday afternoon started with three lectures to set the cartographic scene, focusing on the mapping history of Manchester and showcasing examples of current Manchester-based map design. This was followed by papers on the geopolitics of mapping, focusing on the changing political life of a single map, the geopolitical significance of media mapping and a new school-based mapping initiative. On Wednesday evening the popular quiz was held in the bar in the Conference Centre.

On Thursday morning the focus shifted towards design and practical aspects of production, with sessions on transport mapping, followed by an opportunity for delegates to share their own practical experiences in a members session. In the afternoon the programme moved on to some of the challenging ways maps are being deployed in wider social contexts. Three papers around everyday encounters with urban life chart psycho-geographical use of maps and explore the potential of community mapping initiatives. These were followed by a session on modern art and the map, including embodied and performative cartographies. The day concluded with the conference dinner in the evening.

On Friday papers focussed on the twin challenges of Opensource data and crowdsourcing. Three papers expore OSOpendata, its politics, qualities and applications, before a concluding session where the wider implications of crowdsourcing was explored. A final session offered opportunities to reflect on the Summer School with panel discussions relating to issues brought up during the three days.

If you would like to become a member of the Society of Cartographers or explore the benefits of membership, please visit our website at www.soc.org.uk