State of the Art

Mapping Cartosemiotics

By Hansgeorg Schlichtmann & Alexander Wolodtschenko

Ten years international correspondence seminars in cartosemiotics

1. On the discussion-paper series "Kartosemiotik"/"Kartosemiotika", 1991-1995

Cartosemiotics with its various manifestations is an interesting facet not only of European, but also of international theoretical cartography. The last decade of the 20th century was characterized by considerable research activity in this subfield. Much of this activity took the form of international correspondence seminars in cartosemiotics, initiated in 1991. Their proceedings were published (in German and Russian) in the discussion-paper series "Kartosemiotik"/"Kartosemiotika", edited by J. Pravda and A. Wolodtschenko. Six issues have appeared between 1991 and 1995.

The first issue of "Kartosemiotik"/"Kartosemiotika", i.e., number 1/1991, contains the following six articles:

  • Grosser, K.: Cartographic semiotics and cartographic expert systems (pp.7-16, in German);
  • - Kekelia, D.I.: Cartographic semiotics (pp.17-24, in Russian);
  • Nebesky, L.: Cartographic semiotics (pp.25-30, in Russian);
  • Pravda, J.: On problems of cartographic semiotics (pp.31-38, in Russian);
  • Schlichtmann, H.: On cartographic semiotics and on the language of maps (pp.39-48, in German);
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: On some questions concerning the cartographic sign system (pp.49-58, in German).

Issue 1/1991 is a monothematic collection: all contributors discuss the central question "What is cartosemiotics?". The contents of the next three booklets, listed below, show a greater thematic diversity:

Issue 2/1991:

  • Berlyant, A.M.: Graphic images of georepresentations: new aspects of this problem (pp.7-14, in Russian);
  • Drich, K.I.: Language-related problems of computer cartography (pp.15-20, in Russian);
  • Kekelia, D.I.: On the state and development of the conceptual-terminological apparatus of cartography (pp.21-26, in Russian);
  • Pravda, J.: On cartosemiotics: some preliminary conclusions and discussion remarks (pp.27-34, in Russian);
  • 3200 Cartographic Theory and Methods
  • Koch, W.G.: The treatment of optical illusions in map design as a problem of cartopragmatics (pp.35-40, in German);
  • Schlichtmann, H.: The intervention of language in the map (pp.41-54, in German);
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: Further thoughts on the study of map language (pp.55-62, in German).

Issue 3/1992:

  • Berlyant, A.M.: The convergence of theoretical conceptions in modern cartography (pp.7-16, in Russian)
  • Shehu, A.: Logical approaches in cartography (pp.17-24, in Russian)
  • Pravda, J.: Cartosemiotics and map language (pp.25-32, in Russian)
  • Kekelia, D.I.: On cartosemiotics: some thoughts and arguments (pp.33-40, in Russian)
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: On the development of cartographic representations (pp.41-48, in German)
  • Schlichtmann, H.: Writing and typography in maps: the view from semiotics (pp.49-59, in German).

Issue 4/1993:

  • Pravda, J.; Wolodtschenko, A.: On semiotics and cartosemiotics (pp.7-14, in German and Russian)
  • Grosser, K.: How to arrive at reliable rules and knowledge for map design expert systems? (pp.15-26, in German)
  • Koch, W.G.: Research into the perception of map symbols conducted at Dresden University of Technology (pp.27-36, in German)
  • Shehu, A.: Cartography, map, cartographer (pp.37-42, in Russian)
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: On conceptual approaches in cartography (pp.43-54, in Russian)
  • Pravda, J.: On some conceptional and cartosemiotic problems (pp.55-66, in Russian)
  • Berlyant, A.M.: On the question of converging theoretical conceptions in cartography (pp.67-70, in Russian)
  • Pravda, J.: "Tree of development" and "big explosion" in cartography: a reply to A.M. Berlyant (pp.71-82, in Russian).

Issue 5/1994 is a collection of papers from the colloquium "Contemporary problems of cartosemiotics", held in October 1994 at the Institute of Cartography, Dresden University of Technology. This book has 17 chapters, grouped under three topics:

Topic I - "Semiotics and cartosemiotics":

  • Noeth, W.: General semiotics and cartosemiotics (pp.7-21, in German)
  • Kekelia, D.I.: On cartosemiotics (pp.22-26, in Russian)
  • Pravda, J.: Cartosemiotics and its semiotic-linguistic problems (pp.27-36, in Russian)
  • Schlichtmann, H.: Sketch of the local systax in maps (pp.37-42, in German)
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: Cartosemiotics - quo vadis? (pp.43-52, in German).

Topic II - "Applied cartosemiotics":

  • Bollmann, J.: Information processing in cartographic perception space (pp.53-66, in German)
  • Cohen, B.: Topographic maps from the point of view of cartosemiotics (pp.67-74, in Russian)
  • Grosser, K.: On the theory of graphic patterns (pp.75-84, in German)
  • Gruenreich, D.: Syntactic and semantic modelling of digital maps in raster data format (pp. 85-94, in German)
  • Cartographic Theory and Methods 3201
  • Kelnhofer, F: Object meaning and object geometry in cartographic representations (pp.95-107, in German)
  • Koch, W.G.: Delimitation, differentiation, and order of cartographic representation methods with respect to knowledge-based map design (pp.108-121, in German)
  • Naumann, I.: On the concept of a map description language (pp.122-126, in German).

Topic III - "General and conceptual questions in cartography":

  • Berlyant, A.M.: Geoimages and hyper-geoimages: a new conception (pp. 127-138, in Russian)
  • Drich, K.I.; Drich, S.K.: Processes of integrating theoretical conceptions in cartography (pp. 139-147, in Russian)
  • Cherviakov, V.A.; Rudskiy, V.V.: Cartographic research at the Faculty of Geography of Altai University (pp.148-151, in Russian)
  • Shehu, A.: Cartographic conceptions: on the proceedings of the 16th Conference of the ICA (pp.152-159, in Russian)
  • Stubkjaer, E.: Analysis of the development of cartographic terms and conceptions (pp.160-172, in German).

Issue 6/1995, the last one in this series, contains six studies on diverse themes:

  • Berlyant, A.M.: The theoretical process in cartography (pp.5-12, in Russian)
  • Shehu, A.: A valuable monograph: a comment (pp.13-16, in Russian)
  • Schlichtmann, H.: Plan images in maps: a problem of sign production (pp.17-28, in German)
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: On the theoretical-conceptual environment in cartography (pp.29-48, in Russian)
  • Arzhanov, E.P.: On conceptual errors in cartography (pp.49-52, in Russian)
  • A. Wolodtschenko's interview with M.K. Bocharov (pp.53-58, in Russian).

2. On the discussion-paper series "Diskussionsbeitraege zur Kartosemiotik und zur Theorie der Kartographie", 1998-2000

The tradition of "Kartosemiotik"/"Kartosemiotika" was continued by a new series entitled "Diskussionsbeitraege zur Kartosemiotik und zur Theorie der Kartographie" (Discussion papers on cartosemiotics and on the theory of cartography), edited by A. Wolodtschenko and H. Schlichtmann. It contains contributions in German, Russian, and English. Three issues have been published in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The first issue of "Diskussionsbeitraege", i.e., number 1/1998, relates to various cartographic themes, including that of tactile spatial representations:

  • Butwilowski, W.: Geomorphological mapping: new approach - new results (pp.7-22, in German);
  • Kirschenbauer, S.; Buchroithner, M.F.: An interdisciplinary review of cartographic cognition with special consideration of 3D visualization (pp.23-30, in English);
  • Schmauks, D.: On tactile representations of space (pp.31-42, in German);
  • Wolodtschenko, A.; Rudskiy, W.: A thematic atlas series of the city of Barnaul (pp.43-46, in German);
  • Wolodtschenko, A.; Shevchenko, V.: On the conception of the medico-ecological atlas of Ukraine (pp.47-50, in Russian)

3202 Cartographic Theory and Methods

Issue 2/1999 is a collection of studies done between 1990 and 1999. Their author, Alexander Wolodtschenko - one of the initiators of, and participants in, the international correspondence seminars of the 1990s - presents, in a chronological order, a selection of his publications in the monograph "Cartosemiotic and conceptional aspects of the 90s". This work has three sections. The first two sections constitute the semiotic part of the monograph, the third addresses structural-conceptional questions of cartography. The book contains 17 articles, 13 in German, two in English, and two in Russian. A few chapters are published here for the first time, some others have appeared before at places which are not easy to access.

Section I - "Map language and cartosemiotics" - (pp.9-98, with nine chapters) covers, firstly, the following topics: research directions in cartosemiotics; units of map language; manifestations of cartosemiotics; cartosemantic and cartosigmatic investigations. Secondly, it contains two comprehensive reviews of cartosemiotic literature which have previously appeared in the ICA publication "Map semiotics around the world", edited by H. Schlichtmann.

Section II - "Prehistoric maps and cartosemiotics" - (pp.99-130, with five articles) relates to prehistoric maps as semiotic phenomena. By studying prehistoric maps, cartography tries to detect its roots, which are not always easy to find and to interpret. The following subjects are considered in this section: roots of cartography; special semiotic features of prehistoric maps; primary and secondary semiotic models; semantics and syntactics of prehistoric maps. All these topics are germane to paleocartosemiotics - a new subdiscipline overlapping cartosemiotics and the history of cartography.

Section III - "Structural-conceptional aspects of cartography" - (pp.131-180, with three chapters) concerns topics which reflect structural and model-related approaches and conceptional directions in theoretical cartography. It is no accident that relevant research done by cartographers and geographers in Eastern Europe is presented here in an analytical and critical way. As is well known, Eastern European pioneer works on cartosemiotics and map language are not readily accessible outside their area of origin and have usually not been translated into other languages.

"Diskussionsbeitraege" 3/2000, again, contains studies on a variety of themes:

  • Butwilowski, W.: On the cartographic approach in the geosciences: a map user's reflections (pp.5-12, in German);
  • Dickmann, F.: Implications of technical restrictions for modern web mapping - problems and solutions (pp.13-22, in English);
  • Smirnov, L.E.; Kuroshev, G.D.: Some aspects of the geographic-geodetic monitoring of the earth (pp.23-30, in English);
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: Cartosemiotic lexis in Kartosemiotik/Kartosemiotika no. 1, 1991 (pp.31-36, in German);
  • Wolodtschenko, A.: On prospects in theoretical cartography (pp.37-54, in Russian)

3. Conclusion

Between 1991 and 2000, international correspondence seminars have resulted in the production of nine collections of articles. One of them ("Kartosemiotik"/"Kartosemiotika" 5/1994) constitutes the proceedings of a professional Cartographic Theory and Methods 3203 colloquium; it contains 17 chapters, contributed by 19 authors. Seven are thematically diverse collections of papers on theoretical and theoretical-technical aspects of cartography and cognate disciplines. Finally, one issue ("Diskussionsbeitraege" 2/1999) brings together, in a monographic format, 17 studies by a single author (A. Wolodtschenko).

This poster has the aim of providing a chronological reference to the international correspondence seminars which have taken place to date and to invite old and new authors to contribute to future ones.