Stepping over the line: Technological constraints and the new cartography

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Traditional cartography is seen as an optimal response to a highly constrained technology based largely on pen and paper. Although many of the conventions of manual cartography appear to be intelligent choices, they have nevertheless been made in an extremely restricted environment which imposes a limited view of reality. Early digital technology did little to broaden the constraints, and led cartography, map analysis and spatial analysis in different directions. More recent hardware and the results of intensive research have produced a digital cartography which can successfully emulate its analogue parent. However, its true potential lies in less conventional methods of analysis and display and in the degree to which it can escape its traditional constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Cartographer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Stepping over the line: Technological constraints and the new cartography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this