Review and Implications of the AutoCarto Six Retrospective Project

Review and Implications of the AutoCarto Six Retrospective Project

Barry Wellar (University of Ottawa, Canada & Wellar Consulting Inc., Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9845-1.ch066
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A previous IJAGR paper, using the Retrospective Approach to Commemorate AutoCarto Six (Wellar, 2014), presented the reasons for using a retrospective approach to re-visit papers that were published 30 years ago (1983) in the proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Automated Cartography. This paper addresses four important topics that arise from producing AutoCarto Six Retrospective. First, in response to requests for more information about the “retro experience”, the research design of the retrospective project is reviewed in terms of lessons learned. Second, the contribution that the retrospective approach makes to “the literature” on the evolution of automated cartography, geographic information systems, computational geography, and related fields is explored. Third, several implications of the retrospective approach for the literature search and review component of theses, dissertations, academic productions, and research proposals, as well as plan, program, and policy evaluation processes in both the private and public sectors are outlined. And fourth, comments are made about applying the AutoCarto Six Retrospective experience to other commemorative events.
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Papers In Autocarto Six Retrospective

Shortly after its production, AutoCarto Six Retrospective was posted online ( As a result, and in recognition of the constraints of space, emphasis in this report is on lessons learned about the retrospective approach and experience, rather than on the contents of individual papers. I therefore use the Contents page from the book, and the keywords from the papers, to provide a general context for the review and implications discussion. Then, at a future date, as summarized in endnote 1, individual papers and the overall book production will be examined in detail.

Table 1 presents the book’s Contents page, including titles of papers and names of authors, and corresponds in structure to that of the original proceedings.

Table 1.
AutoCarto six retrospective papers
Introduction to AutoCarto Six RetrospectiveJack Dangermond
1Design of AutoCarto Six RetrospectiveBarry Wellar
2Early Thoughts about Automated Mapping in an Information SocietyBarry Wellar
3The Evolution of an Operational GISIan Crain
4Linking Information Society, Geography, and Decision Support Systems and ServicesBarry Wellar
5Introspective View of Toronto’s AutoCarto Six PaperRalph Smith
6Looking Back at the Feasibility and Prototype of the Product Market Matching (PMM) System for Tourism Planning and DevelopmentBernie Campbell and Giulio Maffini
7The Long-term Functioning of Geographic Information SystemsNicholas Chrisman
8From Generalisation and Error to Information Overload and ‘Big Data’Mike Blakemore
9Whatever Happened to the Statistical Surface?Barbara Buttenfield
10Exploratory Steps towards the Contemporary World of Geographic Information and Unexpected ConsequencesDavid Rhind
11Design of Maps for Telidon: Interactive Design of Maps RevisitedFraser Taylor
12MIGS: From Cartographic Revolution to EvolutionSteve Prashker
13L’évolution de la cartographie thématique sur micro-ordinateurJean-Paul Donnay
14LACAD: Looking Back and Looking Forward at Simulating and Visualising the Real WorldBob Itami and Randy Gimblett
15Adaptive Grids Then and NowRandolph Franklin
16Fractals in Context: Fractal Enhancement for Thematic Display of Topologically Stored DataMarc Armstrong and Lewis Hopkins
17Soil and Agricultural Land Maps, from Mapping to GIS Jean-Philippe Grelot
18Fractals 30 Years After: A Retrospective of “Measuring the Fractal Dimensions of Surfaces”Mark Shelberg, Nina Lam, and Harold Moellering
19The Photogrammetric Generation of Topographic Information: A Brief HistoryDierk Hobbie
20The Map Overlay and Statistical System (MOSS) – A Historical PerspectiveCarl Reed
21Automated Cartographic-Quality Map Feature LabelingJohn Ahn and Herbert Freeman
22Technology, Information, Communications and Instant MapsChris Kissling
23Early Electronic Atlases - Synergy between the Classical and Modern Cartography and GeoVisualizationEva Siekierska
24Moonshot – USGS and Census Build TIGERSteve Guptill
25Reflections on Data Transfer Between Software Environments and the Challenges of GIS Teaching in a Post-Secondary institutionRobert Maher and David Colville
26A Retrospective on Designing Interactive Spatial Systems Based on Real and Virtual MapsHarold Moellering
27Big Data: How Geo-information Helped Shape the Future of Data EngineeringRobert Jeansoulin
28Human Factors in the Design of Real-Time Cartographic Displays – A Battle Lost?Michael W. Dobson
29The Class of 1980s: Contributions to Local Government GIS Implementation and Management MethodsRebecca Somers
30On the Transfer of Remote Sensing Classifications into Polygon Geocoded Data Bases in CanadaDavid Goodenough and Gordon Plunkett

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