Given up on strategic plans because no one pays them any attention?
Can’t get the decision makers to read them, let alone fund them?

Too often I see strategic plans that describe implementing lots of technology but fail to demonstrate successfully how they will benefit the organisation or customers.

Effective strategic plans lay out a vision and a common set of organisational goals (describing how to get there and measure progress along the way). If the plan is going to be successful, it needs to be accepted across an organisation: people need to understand what the plan will deliver and how it is to be achieved.

Previously I've posted about TileMill and how much I've enjoyed using it and how impressed I am with its cartographic results. Since then I've been delving deeper into creating topographic maps from locally sourced data, and trying to replicate map designs that have been created in Adobe Illustrator and porting them to TileMill. Now this hasn't been a simple process and has taken much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair to get the TileMill designs to as close as possible replicate the Illustrator design. 

Most people look at a map as merely a tool, an instrument of information which they can use to gain a better understanding about the world around them.

However, in reality maps are much more than that; maps are a unique combination of art and science, bringing together beauty and colour with fact and detail.

 

Anyone can sketch out a rough outline of a map, but it takes true talent and determination to create a map that is both factually accurate and beautiful to look at - this is where a custom cartographic service comes in.

TileMill is fast gaining traction in the web mapping community as the tool of choice, not just because it is a free and open-source alternative, but because it can create stunning multi-scale seamless maps and offers you an affordable hosting alternative to Google and Amazon.

Follow this link to discover more about the process of designing and producing web maps using TileMill.

Many years ago I had an idea to create a map without lines, polygons or symbols…just using purely text. I could never quite get it to work effectively; however with modern illustration software and GIS data, the workflow has became much simpler.

Typographic maps have become quite popular at present. There are some excellent examples by some well known cartographers and artists, such as Axis maps, Paula Scher maps, Ursula Hitz, Stephen Walter and Golden Section Graphics, to name but a few.

If you have ever seen Robert Hoddle's 1837 survey of the town of Melbourne, you instantly recognise the genius of Murray Walker’s tapestry, Melbourne. The huge tapestry hanging in the foyer of Bourke Place captures the grid plan for Melbourne as drawn up by the Surveyor Hoddle. The tapestry also includes the original topographic features of Batman Hill, the natural alignment of the Yarra River and the surrounding tea tree scrub as drawn by Hoddle on the map. The tapestry details include the ink spills that you can also see on the original. If you love maps, you will be delighted to see this work.

Every year around June, Apple holds a conference in San Francisco called the World Wide Developers Conference. I have wanted to go to this conference since starting to develop for Apple platforms back when I was at University

Getting to meet the engineers who make the platforms I work on and being one of the first learn about all the new technologies is something that I hoped to get the chance to do some day. This year I got that chance.

On the 8th of June I left Melbourne for sunny California. I hadn’t been on an overseas trip in a really long time so it was a great adventure for me.

The demand for smartphones continued to grow at an astounding 42% in the past year, according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, with 154 million units shipped worldwide in Q2 2012.   Not surprisingly, the corporate world is increasingly seeing the value of the mobile platform for delivery of their business systems and for communication with their clients. Recently we have seen an increasing number of tenders across Australia requiring mobile delivery as either the main platform or at least an important component.

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