This is an exciting time to be working in the universe of maps!
In my relatively short time as a member of WAML, I’ve learned so much about the importance of community as a means to increase appreciation and understanding of the importance of cartographic material. This community has given me the opportunity to interact with such a wide range of practitioners, including: curators, software engineers, GIS experts, collectors, and of course, librarians.
The practice of map and data librarianship has always fascinated me, largely because of the diversity of information and people that are present in every aspect of the work. I’ve always regarded maps as the perfect synthesis of history, art, exploration, science, and politics. As geospatial information and technologies become more commonplace, it’s encouraging to see a number of cultural heritage organizations and public information providers starting to develop strategies that support preservation, metadata application, and web-scale delivery of historically significant map collections as well as an increasing amount of digital geographic datasets. I believe WAML can contribute greatly to these kinds of initiatives given the amount of knowledge, technical skill, vision, and overall awesomeness present in our small group.
We are delighted to be hosting this year’s annual WAML meeting in the David Rumsey Map Center, located on the campus of Stanford University. This is a space created for anyone and everyone interested in exploring, discovering, and working with maps. I think it’s the ideal space for our meeting this year. And I look forward to seeing you all there!