Geography Colloquium welcomes renowned cartographer

3/2/2010 - By: Skyler Dillon

As part of its Geography Colloquium series, the University of Nevada, Reno’s geography department will host lectures from two renowned cartographers in March. The first, given by Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso from The Washington Post, will be Wednesday, March 3, from 4-5 p.m. in room 215 of the Mackay Science Building.

In his presentation “Post-mapping, Deadline and Mash-up,” Kelso will discuss his experiences as an award-winning staff cartographer for The Washington Post, including the unique challenges of producing maps in a deadline-driven journalistic environment. In a discussion with Ph.D.-candidate Cassie Hansen’s cartography students March 2, he will also talk about the information, format and data important to the average map reader.

“With as successful as he’s been, it’s very exciting to have him come and speak,” said Hansen, who was a student of Kelso’s when he was a teaching assistant at Humboldt State University. “He’s really exploded into the cartography world.”

In addition to his work creating maps for The Washington Post’s daily newspaper, Kelso designs interactive graphics for the paper’s Web site. In 2008, he co-developed Natural Earth Data, a source of free vector and raster data available around the world. With the free, public-domain information, cartographers are able to quickly develop accurate and legible maps. Hansen expects his accomplishments to provide a good example for her students to follow as they start their own careers.

“I’m hoping [the students] are inspired by him and the work he’s done, and that he helps them see their own way to get started through internships and summer jobs,” she said.

Nevada’s geography department hosts the Geography Colloquium each spring, welcoming a variety of experts and professionals to speak on campus This year’s series is themed “geographical measures,” and explores the fields of measuring, recording, mapping and displaying geographical data. Cartographer Martin Gamache from National Geographic magazine will speak at 4 p.m. on March 10.

Department of Geography


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