Course Objectives:

  1. To understand the various purposes, roles and representation of cartography
  2. To gain and practice the use of cartographic language in the creative design process
  3. To gain and practice skills in cartographic design, representation and production in a GIS environment
  4. To understand effective visual thinking and visual communication

Course outline:

  1. Introduction (2 hours)
    1. History of cartography
    2. Map definition, need of maps, basic characteristics of map
    3. Categories of maps, map use goals
    4. Dissemination techniques of maps

  2. Cartographic Design(4 hours)
    1. Objectives of map design, factors influencing map design
    2. Map design process
    3. Perceptual Consideration: Graphic Elements, visual viriables
    4. Visual perception
    5. Design Principles and Planning

  3. Scale and generalization(4 hours)
    1. Geographic and cartographic scale
    2. Definition of Generalization
    3. Models of generalization
    4. Fundamental operations of generalization

  4. Typography (3 hours)
    1. Elements of typographic designs: type style, type form, type size, type color
    2. Forming the letters: bit-mapped type, outline type
    3. General typographic guideline, specific guidelines: point feature, linear feature, areal feature

  5. Basic of Color theory(4 hours)
    1. Nature of color: spectral and reflected color, color dimension
    2. Theories of color perception: trichromatic theory, opponent process theory, color constancy
    3. Color vision impairment
    4. Color modelling system: RGB, CMYK,HSV, Munsell, HSV, CIE
    5. Color output: printers, monitors
    6. Color management, color charts

  6. Map Design(6 hours)
    1. Thematic data
      1. Data Classification, common methods of data classification: equal intervals, quantities, mean-standard deviation, maximum breaks, natural breaks, optimal
      2. Thematic maps, Common thematic map types: nominal point/line symbol map, chorochromatic map, dot maps, proportional point symbol map, flowline maps, isoline map, cartogram, prism map, Choropleth map

  7. Map layout (2 hours)
    1. Map layout elements, marginal information,
    2. Map layout types, map layout balance, map layout shapes
    3. Arrangement of marginal information, folding systems

  8. Map reproduction techniques (6 hours)
    1. Planning, map editing, raster image processing for print production
    2. Screening for point reproduction
    3. Halftone and stochastic screening
    4. Aspects of color printing-process color, spot colors, high-fidelity process color, continuous tone color printing
    5. Color management system, high voloume print reproduction-pre-phase phase, file formats, proofing methods
    6. Offset lithographic printing, computer to-plate, direct-to-plate

  9. Web mapping (4 hours)
    1. Introduction, History of web maps, types of web maps-static, dynamic, animated, interactive, and collaborative
    2. Client and server technology for web mapping, interoperability, OGC standards for web mapping

  10. Mapping time (3 hours)
    1. Concept of time, Representation of change, single static map, multiple static map, animated map, Dynamic visualization terminologies, dynamic visualization variables, cognitive issues, goal of animation design,

  11. Geovisual exploration/analytics (4 hours)
    1. Visualization and maps, geovisualization
    2. Brushing-attribute, geographical, temporal, exploratory tools, visual analytics

  12. Use, User, Usability (3 hours)
    1. User centered design of geo data dissemination systems
    2. Use contexts, user data collection and analysis methods
    3. Types of map use research


  1. Use of visual variables and application of cartographic grammar (6 hours)
  2. Designing topographic in desktop GIS software (9 hours)
  3. Creating different thematic maps using desktop GIS software (9 hours)
  4. Color selection exercise using color chart, desktop GIS software and printer (6 hours)
  5. Exercise on temporal and non-temporal animations (3 hours)
  6. Creating web maps using open source tools (6 hours)
  7. Visual thinking exercise using GeoViz Toolkit (6 hours)


  1. Kraak MJ and Ormeling (2010), Cartography the visualization of spatial data
  2. Slocum et al. (2009), Thematic cartography and Geovisualization
  3. Robinson, A.H. (1995), Elements of cartography
  4. Cartography: Visualization of geospatial Data by Menno-Jan Kraak, Ferjan Ormeling, Pearson Education Limited 2003
  5. Elements of Cartography by A. Robinson, R. Sale and Morrison, John Willey and sons.

Evaluation scheme:
The question will cover all the chapters in the syllabus. The evaluation scheme will be as mentioned in the table below:




Marks allocation*
























*Note: There may be minor deviation in marks distribution

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