On-demand webinar

Building A Better Map

Our world is rich with geographic data. From point coordinates to country names, maps are key to understanding and utilizing that information. These days, with just a computer and an internet connection, anyone can be empowered to explore and present their geographic data. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that ‘anyone’ understands the principles of spatial data, or visual and cartographic best practices.

While many map authoring tools do provide design guidance, it’s still easy to mislead readers. Based on the choices a cartographer makes in data collection, cleaning, analysis, and visualization – their ‘cartographic license’ – a map’s unique capacity for geographic data insights can be severely compromised, intentionally or otherwise.

In this Data Science Central webinar, Sarah will discuss how cartographic license can be used – and abused – by the map designer, and how this ultimately impacts a map reader’s ability to see and understand geographic data.

About the speaker


Sarah Battersby

Principal Research Scientist, Tableau

Sarah has been a member of Tableau Research since 2014. Sarah’s primary area of focus is cartography, with an emphasis on cognition. Her work emphasizes how to help people visualize and use spatial information more effectively—without the need for an advanced degree in geospatial. Her research has covered a variety of areas, including perception in dynamic map displays, geospatial technologies and spatial thinking abilities, and the impact of map projection on spatial cognition.

Sarah earned her PhD in Geography in 2006 from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a member of the International Cartographic Association Commission on Map Projections, and is a Past President (2015-2016) of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society—a society composed of educators, researchers and practitioners involved in the design, creation, use and dissemination of geographic information. Sarah is a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

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