Geographic lab wins map design awards


CLIMATOLOGICAL Atlas of Tropical Cyclones over the Western North Pacific (1981-2010) made by the Key Lab of Geographic Information Science of Ministry of Education has recently received two awards from the British Cartographic Society (BCS), one of the world's leading cartographic societies.  

The map won the John C Bartholomew Award for Thematic Mapping and Stanfords Award for Printed Mapping. It was praised by the judges for being very clever and visually attractive presentation of huge amount of complex information, and great collection of inventive, beautifully designed thematic maps and infographics. For its characteristics of tropical cyclones over the Western North Pacific, its influence on China was clearly a positive feature in the judges' eyes.  

The overall intentions for studying the geographical features included: the occurrence, development and disappearance of tropic cyclones, and their generation locations; frequencies and intensity changes in binary tropical cyclones and multi-tropical cyclones; cyclones' moving paths, directions, speed and landing, and directories; and locations and weather records of meteorological observation stations.  

One of most prestigious awards of its kind, the BCS awards aims to commend and promote the most creative mapmaking cartographers. Prof. Tang Xi, deputy editor-in-chief and chief designer of the prizewinning map, attended the awards ceremony. BCS chairman Richard Carpenter announced all the award recipients.  

In addition to the BCS award, ECNU cartographers took home the silver medal of the 2018 Chinese Excellent Map Works Peixiu Award, an honorable mention in the Book/Atlas category of the 45th Map Design Competition of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society, and the Special Award of the 2nd Youth Resource Mapping Contest of China Natural Resources Society.  

John C Bartholomew Award for Thematic Mapping.

Stanfords Award for Printed Mapping.

The trophy and the certificate.

Tang explained how the mapmaking process works: While making the thematic map as scientific, authoritative and practical as it should be, we have creatively integrated as much information as we can into a limited space in the map and put forward a visualization strategy that caters to era characteristics, professional needs and multiclass users' characteristics.  

He then went on to discuss some specific details: To be more specific, on one hand, we have enhanced visual creativity and aesthetic experience, and made a multidimensional information schema with multivariate complex statistics. On the other hand, we've blended multivariate dynamics of graphic maps, optimized the interface style and format logics, and successfully shifted from data compilation to a knowledge-driven service design.  

Specimen of the atlas.

The judges of the John Bartholomew Award thought the map to be engaging and aesthetic, with a good combination of thematic maps and info graphics.  

Many of ECNU's cartographers believe that utilizing a map in geography is likened to the eyes and tool of geoscience workers. The prizewinner map enlightens people with it characteristics and patterns of tropical cyclones as well as emphasizing its impact on climate. It helps improve the accuracy of China's weather forecast on tropical cyclones and China's resistance capability against typhoons and typhoon-triggered disasters, and plays an active role in guarantee sustainable social and economic development.

Edited by Siyuan Zhang     Proofread by Joshua Mayfield     Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


East China Normal University