January 5, 2009
by Rob Limbaugh
When you take a look around you, maps are present everywhere
in our lives. Road atlases, weather maps, political maps (changing
every week), tax and survey maps, sky maps, maps of the shopping
mall, blueprints and floor plans of buildings, stadium and theater
layouts, trail maps in parks, corporate flowcharts, assembly
instructions that come packaged with products. How often do we
MapQuest, give someone directions, or try to follow theirs? Maps
are everywhere. And yet strangely, how rarely do we ever teach
a child how to read a map, let alone navigate by it. No wonder
so many of us grow up “map-challenged.”
Maps are magical! If you can make sense of them, you can
find your way to a place you’ve never visited, never seen,
never even heard of. You can get from where you are to wherever
you want to go – whether to a store cross-town or the third
moon of Jupiter. But for many people, maps remain a mystery,
a confusion of direction and features, left and right. Which
way is which? What are we facing, what is behind?
Our modern world has given us MapQuest, Google Maps, Expedia.
Mapping GPS units are now mainstream and cheap. Phones have GPS
built in. Knowing where we are in relation to anything and everything
else around us is so important that the killer mapping applications
and devices cater that to the extent we no longer think about
what goes on behind the technology and the principles by which
In time with the New Year, when we all vow to plot new courses,
we are pleased to present Ed Hicks, owner of “Orienteering
Unlimited, Inc.” as our featured speaker for our January
2009 General Meeting. Topics we will be exploring include: How
cartography tools have evolved with technology, navigation techniques,
depths of Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth, creating
maps from aerial photography, mapmaking software, and more! OCAD
and Global Mapper (http://www.globalmapper.com)
are two applications Ed will use to demonstrate different mapping
solutions whether using existing data or when needing to create
your own map.
Mr. Hicks is a retired New York State science teacher who pioneered
the outdoor education and computer programs for his school district
from the 70’s through early 90’s. Since founding
Orienteering Unlimited in 1979, Ed has lead Map Adventure programs
with countless schools, camps, youth groups, corporations, and
teaches two 3-credit graduate courses on the subject. He has
produced over 100 orienteering-quality maps of state parks, camps,
and conference centers and educational campuses.
If you’re an explorer, adventurer, hiker, cyclist, tourist,
spelunker, aviator, or sailor then stop by and learn how to get
more detail from mapping technology! Attendees are encouraged
to take a preview look at the OCAD and Global Mapper software
demos before the meeting and bring questions they may have.
DACS meetings are held at the Danbury Hospital auditorium. Activities
begin at 6:30 p.m. with registration and casual networking. The
meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. with annual members meeting and other
regular features. The main evening presentation begins approximately
8:00 p.m. Meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 9:30 p.m.
DACS General Meetings are free and open to the public. Members
and prior attendees are encouraged to extend invitations to anyone
interested in this topic.
Danbury Area Computer Society (DACS) is a registered nonprofit
and has been serving the region since 1990. Members receive an
award-winning newsletter, Members-only workshops and events,
and access to volunteer phone support.