- Author: Andy Lyons
Calling all water resource managers and researchers! Do you have spatial data of water stocks, water infrastructure, or water usage? Do you have a story to go with it? Then you have everything you need to submit a map idea for an exciting open-source atlas project.
Guerrilla Cartography, the non-profit cartography group that put together the stunning Food: An Atlas, recently announced another call-for-maps for their second big project: Water: An Atlas. If you haven't heard of this group, Guerrilla Cartography is an Oakland-based consortium of cartographers that believe heavily in the power of maps to tell stories, the art and science of cartography, and the power of collaboration between cartographers and researchers. For each atlas project, they pair volunteer cartographers with researchers to turn basic maps into beautiful works of art, then crowd-fund to print the atlases which are also available for free as PDFs. See for example how they portrayed California's almond production in the 2013 Food Atlas.
The water theme is certainly topical, as drought, ground water depletion, and sea level rise are major issues throughout the western US and around the world. Most of us notice water issues when there is either too much or too little water right in front of us. Maps are uniquely suited to convey the spatial and temporal scales of water, and the atlases produced by Guerrilla Cartography are as artistic as they are informative. I can't wait to see the stories revealed through maps when the atlas comes out next spring. The deadline to submit an idea for a map is September 12, 2016, so hop on it water researchers!