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A Short History of Canadian Cartographics Ltd

The Company agenda
Canadian Cartographics Ltd(CCL) is a thematic cartography establishment that was registered in Victoria in February of 1971.  The Company was created in response to an apparent demand for a private sector operation with capabilities in the creation of maps as scientific documents, as curriculum aids, and as documents intended for popular use.  The Company operated as a consultant but also started its own publishing in the late 1970s.

During its 37 year existence, the Company served many clients including federal government departments, provincial ministries, local and regional governments, universities and large private sector establishments. Its own publication program, since 1979, produced over 35 titles about 20 of which were made up of street maps and atlases, road maps and recreation guides.  In 1998 the Company signed a License Agreement with the Province of British Columbia to update, produce, publish and sell the entire hardcopy publication program of the Ministry of Environment.  This Agreement added 144 map titles to the Company publication roster.  In 2000 the Company signed another License Agreement with the Province to update, publish and distribute the Ministry of Forests initiated Forest Recreation Map Series consisting of 40 titles.

Early development
In the earlier years, the Company’s Principal, Lou Skoda, maintained a close association with the Canadian Cartographic Association(CCA) which formed in 1975 and of which he was one of the founding members.  This Association was formed to promote interest in maps, further the understanding and knowledge of maps by encouraging research in the field of cartography, provide for the exchange of ideas and information and for the discussion of mutual concerns through meetings and by publications, and to advance education in cartography and in the use of maps.  Today, three decades later, the aims of the Association remain unchanged but its constituency extends to other geosciences.  Membership is drawn from the ranks of government, industry, education and it is open to anyone with interest in some aspect of cartography.  Coincidentally, this year is the thirty-year anniversary of the first CCA Annual General Meeting held in  Western Canada at the University of British Columbia, which was organized by the CCL Principal.

The Company contributed to the aims and the objectives of CCA by providing internship spaces to cartography graduates and by providing work opportunities for cartographers seeking to become familiar with the Company’s approach to map design and to its cutting-edge map production technology.  The Principal’s direct contribution to advancing of education in cartography consisted of sessional lectureship at the graduate School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, and at the Douglas College in New Westminster.  In the mid-1980s, and again in the 1990s, the Company created a position of an associate to accommodate a visitor on sabbatical leave.   John Balodis, a professor in the Department of Surveying and Cartography at the Curtin Technical University in Perth, Western Australia spent two sabbaticals with the Company. 

The Company became known for its innovative approach to mapping, for applying the concepts of colour science to map design, and for its procedures in the photomechanical aspects of map production.  Some of these innovative concepts and procedures are embedded in papers authored or coauthored by the Principal which are accessible at  Several of these will be described in some detail later on when discussing individual projects. 

continued ............



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