British Cartographic Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

British Cartographic Society
New BCS Logo, introduced May 2016.jpg
Founded28 September 1963 (1963-09-28)
TypeLearned Society and Registered Charity
Registration no.240034
FocusPromoting the Art and Science of Mapmaking
Coordinates50°48′21″N 1°05′14″W / 50.805833°N 1.087222°W / 50.805833; -1.087222Coordinates: 50°48′21″N 1°05′14″W / 50.805833°N 1.087222°W / 50.805833; -1.087222
Area served
The United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Key people
President: Dr Seppe Cassettari
Vice President: Mr Paul Naylor
£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 Society 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:

  • The Stanfords Award for printed mapping
  • The Avenza Award for electronic mapping
  • The John C. Bartholomew Award for small scale mapping
  • The OS OpenData Award
  • The BCS Award for the best overall entry as judged from the above four categories
  • The Society Medal for a distinguished contribution to cartography
  • The Henry Johns Award for the best paper published in The Cartographic Journal
  • The Ian Mumford Award for excellence in cartographic research undertaken by a student
  • The Esri UK New Mapmaker Award (formerly the National Geographic Award) for those starting out in cartographic or related industries
  • UKHO Junior Mapmaker Award to encourage map making at primary and secondary school level (run every other year from 2008)

Award Winners[edit]

  • New Mapmaker:
    • 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, USA Mount Rainier: A Climber’s Paradise [7]


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

  • Cartography - an introduction 2nd Edition - a practical guide to making better maps - New, enlarged and expanded edition including thematic cartography, web mapping and coordinate systems
  • 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 peer-reviewed periodical of the Society
  • Maplines - the Society's 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 September each year, for cartographers and associated professionals.
  • Better Mapping - A series of one-day seminars to promote good cartographic practice to the mapping industry and beyond.
  • Restless Earth Workshops - Outreach Programme to schools running FREE to attend workshops for Year 10 secondary school students on mapping natural disasters.[8]
  • Group Events - The Society's Special Interest Groups (Map Design, Historical Military Mapping, and GIS) 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 25 October 2013, 11:00.[9]
  • 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 25 November 2013, 18:30.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Register Home Page". Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  2. ^ "British Cartographic Society, registered charity no. 240034". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  3. ^ "Affiliated Organizations". Archived from the original on 20 May 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Cartographer" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2003. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
  5. ^ Clare Seldon (17 November 2015). "The British Cartographic Society > The NGS New Mapmaker Award 2009". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  6. ^ Clare Seldon (17 November 2015). "The British Cartographic Society > The NGS New Mapmaker Award 2010". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  7. ^ Clare Seldon (17 November 2015). "The British Cartographic Society > The NGS New Mapmaker Award 2011". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Restless Earth: inspiring cartographers of the future" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  9. ^ Clare Seldon (25 October 2013). "The British Cartographic Society > GIS and Web Cartography by Jack Dangermond". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  10. ^ Clare Seldon (25 November 2013). "The British Cartographic Society > Nicholas Crane - Reflections of a Map Man". Retrieved 18 February 2016.

External links[edit]