Carto Project

Summary of August 6, 1997 - Carto Project BOF at SIGGRAPH 97

(The Carto Project is a funded ACM-SIGGRAPH Special Project)

Prepared by Dave Taylor, Carto Project Administrator

In conjunction with SIGGRAPH 97, the Carto Project birds-of-a-feather session was held in Room 305 of the Los Angeles Convention Center at 1:00 p.m.on August 6,1997. Theresa-Marie Rhyne, SIGGRAPH Director-at- Large and director of the Carto Project, started the session with an overview of the project that included Carto history, objectives, and accomplishments to date. A synopsis of the Carto Project Survey results was also presented. Theresa-Marie concluded her formal remarks by soliciting input from attendees about the future direction of the Carto Project, and about project goals for 1997-98. For more Web information on the Carto Project see: (http://siggraph.org/~rhyne/carto/cartosurv.html).

Alan MacEachren, of Pennsylvania State University and the International Cartographic Association *(ICA)*, briefly described ICA's perspective on the cartographic representation of data stored in large geographic data bases. Alan explained that the ICA's Commission on Visualization is also looking at cognitive issues as they relate to cartographic data representation. From more Web information on the ICA's Commission on Visualization, see: (http://www.geog.psu.edu/ica/ICAvis.html) .

The third and final speaker was Jason Dykes, of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Jason discussed work being done by him and his colleagues toward the development of GeoFunctions, which are intended to provide "geographic functionality for VR(ML)." They are also working toward the development of tools to apply GIS/carto- graphic techniques in an educational context. Please see: (http://severn.geog.le.ac.uk/mek/VRGeoFunctions.html) .

Following the presentations by the three speakers, a lively question- and-answer forum developed. Much of the discussion centered on problems surrounding, and initiatives, tools, and procedures for facilitating, the sharing of data produced by different tools in diverse environments. Although there was little consensus about prospects for the development of such tools, it was generally agreed that they are needed. And while it was acknowledged that much current work focuses on VRML, it was felt that the extent to which VRML will become pervasive is still open to question.

In bringing the session to closure, Theresa-Marie re-focused the group on the the question of Carto Project goals. Three broad objectives were sited for which it was felt Carto could serve as a focal point: (1) standardization of data representation among and between various systems; (2) establishment of data standards for computer graphic and cartographic applications; and (3) tracking of trends in the adoption of VRML by the computer graphics and cartographic communities. Theresa- Marie agreed that the Carto Project would serve as a collection point for information about these three areas of interest, and would post such information on the Carto Project pages of the SIGGRAPH web site.

In conclusion, Theresa-Marie announced that a Carto Project birds-of- a-feather session will be convened at SIGGRAPH 98, which will be held July 19-24, 1998, in Orlando, Florida. At that time, another progress report will be delivered, and further disussions on topics of mutual interest will be held.

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