British Cartographic Society

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British Cartographic Society
British Cartographic Society Logo.svg
Type Professional Organisation and Registered Charity
Registration No. 240034
Founded 28 September 1963 (1963-09-28)
Coordinates 52°58′03″N 1°18′26″W / 52.9676°N 1.3072°W / 52.9676; -1.3072Coordinates: 52°58′03″N 1°18′26″W / 52.9676°N 1.3072°W / 52.9676; -1.3072
Key people President Peter Jones
Vice President Alexander Kent
Area served England, Wales, Scotland
Focus(es) Promoting the Art and Science of Mapmaking
Revenue £72,189 (year ending June 2010[1]

The British Cartographic Society (BCS) is an association of individuals and organisations dedicated to exploring and developing the world of maps. It is a registered charity.[2] Membership includes mapping companies, publishers, designers, academics, researchers, map curators, individual cartographers, GIS specialists and ordinary members of the public with an interest in maps.

The BCS is regarded as one of the world's leading cartographic societies and its main publication, The Cartographic Journal, is recognised internationally.[3] Membership of the group can be useful for making contacts and keeping up with developments.[4]

The BCS promotes all aspects of cartography to a wide range of potential users.


One of the aims of the Society is to encourage better mapping, by providing medals and prizes to individuals or companies who have shown excellence in this field. The annual BCS awards includes categories such as:

  • Stanfords Award for printed mapping
  • Avenza Award for electronic mapping
  • John C. Bartholomew Award for small scale mapping
  • OS OpenData Award
  • BCS Award for best entry of the year (judged from the former 4 categories)
  • The Society medal for distinguished contribution to cartography
  • The Henry Johns Award for the best cartographic journal article
  • The National Geographic Society New Mapmaker Award for those starting out in cartographic or related industries

New MapMaker Award Winners:

    • 2001: Laura Stewart, University of Edinburgh Can Geographical Information Systems be used to Propose Areas for Storage of Floodwater?
    • 2002: Edward Merritt, Oxford Brookes University An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Paraline Diagrams for Mapping the Urban Environment
    • 2003: Esme Farewell, Oxford Brookes University Cambridge for Children
    • 2004: Donna Watkin, Oxford Brookes University Modern cartographic methods as a key to understanding land use in Drayton St Leonards: 1793 - 2003
    • 2005: Shannon Brassard, Centre of Geographic Sciences, Nova Scotia Community College, CanadaPrince Albert: Celebrating 100 Years
    • 2006: Paul A Light, COGS, Canada National Parks & Historic Sites of Western Newfoundland and Labrador
    • 2007: Alexander Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University An Analysis of the Cartographic Language of European State Topographic Maps: Aesthetics, Style and Identity
    • 2008: Wesley Jones (NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences, Canada) Dry Belt, Settlement and Abandonment of Southeast Alberta and Southwest Saskatchewan, 1908 to 1926
    • 2009: Christoph Hoesli, Institute of Geography at the University of Bern (Switzerland) Southern Sudan Topographic Base Map Series: Map Sheet E - Eastern Equatorial[5]
    • 2010: Michael Graves, Kingston University Road to the World Cup South Africa 2010) [6]
    • 2011: Mike Wilburn, University of Oregon Mount Rainier: A Climber’s Paradise [7]
  • UKHO Junior Mapmaker Award to encourage map making at primary and secondary school level (run every other year from 2008)


The society also publishes a variety of periodicals and books, including:

  • A celebration of 50 years A Celebration of 50 years of the British Cartographic Society, Published by the Society to mark its 50th anniversary
  • Cartography - an introduction a practical A6 64pp guide to making better maps
  • The Cartographic Journal the official journal of the society
  • Maplines - the society magazine
  • Maps and Surveys - the newsletter of the Historical Military Mapping Group
  • Cartographiti - the newsletter of the Map Curators' Group
  • Map Curators Toolbox - an online resource supported by the Map Curators' Group
  • Directory of UK Map Collections - an online resource detailing major map collections in the UK
  • Careers in Cartography - an online resource providing answers to the ever increasing number of enquiries concerning the possibilities of employment in the mapping industry


The Society holds not-for-profit events open to the public and any interested parties to help raise the profile of cartography in Britain and facilitate the exchange of information and ideas amongst the members of the Society and others. They also aim to advance cartographic education and encourage research through such events.

Examples of regular events:

  • Symposium - Annual 3-day gathering held in June each year (from 2009), for Cartographers and associated professionals.
  • Restless Earth Workshops - Outreach Programme to schools running FREE to attend workshops for Year 10 secondary school students on mapping natural disasters.[1]
  • Group Events - The societies groups (Map Design, Historical Military Mapping, and GIS Groups) also hold events for their membership: i.e.: Design Group Meetings, Study/Lecture Days, Half day workshops or lectures.
  • Map Curators’ Workshop - Annual gathering held in September each year, for Map Curators.

50th Anniversary Special events:

  • GIS and Web Cartography - by Jack Dangermond, ESRI President at the Royal Air Force Club, London - Friday 25th October 2013, 11:00.[2]
  • Reflections of a Map Man - In association with the British Library, The British Cartographic Society invites you to attend ‘Reflections of a Map Man’ by Nicholas Crane at the Conference Centre, British Library, London - Monday 25th November 2013, 18:30.[3]

See also[edit]


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