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A Short History 2

A significant effort in the CCL’s development was directed toward demonstrating that a professional practice of cartography could encompass the whole continuum of cartographic operations from conceptualization, research and data collection to the final map production.  CCL achieved this transformation by creating many projects which included the whole gamut of activities that make up the cartographic process.

In this new CCL definition, cartography is regarded as a science-oriented methodological discipline mainly concerned with inventorying, analyses and communication of information with spatial characteristics.  In this regard, the discipline could better be named cartomatics and its practitioners cartomaticists.

The Company’s  development focus
Perhaps the most significant technology developed by the Company was the adaptation  of the Munsell Colour System to map design (see details about the system at The procedure consisted of sampling of the three-dimensional Munsell colour space in a chosen systematic way and then plotting the sample positions on a Company prepared graph paper.  The graph paper positions gave the hue and saturation of each sample and provided a guide to how the samples could be duplicated with appropriate ink mixtures.  Where colour was an important component of the design of a map, the colour graph was added to the map to facilitate the preparation of ink mixtures needed to replicate the map colours.  This was a necessary step in a case of a sheet in a map series where future map sheets contained mapping units with predetermined colour characteristics.  This technique was later adapted for the Company’s Intergraph digital mapping procedure.

The colour design remained a qualitative procedure although two colour science researchers in the 1940s, working in Washington D.C., formulated a quantitative approach but gave up further research because the process required continuous mathematical calculations.  They discontinued their work hoping that it would be picked up later when fast computing devices become available.  Three decades later, the computer technology advanced adequately to provide just the kind of calculating speed than was needed.  The Company regarded the computer development as a golden opportunity to restart the research into the quantification process and made significant progress but, unfortunately, was unable to continue the work because of inadequate funding and because of conflicting priorities leaving the completion of the study to others.

The emerging application colour technology to map design was noticed by some senior academic cartographers at the time.  In this context, the Company felt particularly honoured by Joel L. Morrison’s visit to its Coquitlam office in the summer of 1987.  Dr Morrison earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin and, at the time of his visit, was the serving President of the International Cartographic Association(ICA) while holding a senior management position at the USGS in Renton, Virginia.  He found our experimenting with the use of colour matrices “refreshing” and resolved to look over our maps and share them with his staff.

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



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