A Note for Current Graduate Students
Every school year starts with a rush and it is often hard to
find time to meet to discuss the larger-picture as we settle
into classes and the immediate demands of the days. Then time
and opportunity slip away.
This webpage is intended to provide a back-stop in case we have
not gotten to sit and chat, and a spring-board for when we do.
The sections below are intended to help you figure-out a bit
about what I think you should be doing in graduate school.
Take them as starting points for discussion, or hopes for
what explorations the near future will hold.
Some General Advice
Pursue your degree (and the knowledge and skills it entails).
Do not accept or presuppose "privileged knowledge".
Don't accept things on authority --- accept them
(provisionally) because there is reason and evidence
to do so.
Strive for intellectual honesty.
Don't bend observations to support your favorite notion(s).
Understand the hypothetico-deductive model and its
role in the creation of knowledge.
Try to apply the methods of science in your own work.
The multiple working hypotheses (Chamberlain) and
strong-inference (Platt) notions may not always seem feasible
in their strong form,
but identifying alternative explanations
and then planning and making the observations to assess them does
tend to advance our understanding. Carry that way of thinking into some of
the more recent Bayesian statistical approaches for sorting out
uncertainty about propositions and you will be well on target.
Understand that advocacy is not research.
Particular causes or policies may be valuable to you, and even to society,
but assuming them and then arguing for them, is not research.
Learn to program computers. Theses days, I suggest Python as the language
to start with, though cases could be made for several alternatives.
The point is to have a computational tool for exploring and thinking.
Read. Start with the list below.
Augment it with materials in your interest area.
Get in the habit of scanning literature for more things.
Keep notes on your readings and the thoughts they provoke.
Use a text file, bibliographic software, 3x5 cards,
loose-leaf notebooks, composition books, or some other mechanism,
but keep notes to remind you of what you've read and thought.
Scan back through these notes from time to time.
Particularly note the questions that come to mind,
and speculations on ways of answering them.
Working over some of this common intellectual ground will
benefit our discussions, your discussions with others,
and may even be of value in preparing for things like
thesis proposals and comprehensive exams.
Suggested Starting Readings for Cartography and GIS Students:
This list mixes books and articles; cartography, computing,
and philosophy of science; and is only loosely sorted into topical
Some items are 'classics', prologs to all that follows
---providing context and perspective.
Others have less sweeping importance.
Consider this a starting-point and branch-out to expand your reading.
In addition to 'googling' topics, you might benefit from
UH's on-line 'card catalog' supporting searchs by topic.
It is very useful for local holdings. Try it.
And... you really should know about Duane Marble's GIS
Bibliography Project, now housed by ESRI at:
Bibliography . It brings together a huge range of GIS
So, have at:
Peterson, Michael. (2014) Mapping in the Cloud
McMaster, R.B. and Usery, E.L. (eds). 2005. A Research Agenda
for Geographical Information Science. CRC Press.
(Hamilton: G70.212 .R47 2005)
Slocum, Terry, et al. (2009) Thematic Cartography and
Monmonier, Mark. --- he has a pile of thought-provoking
books over the past several decades.
Abler, Adams and Gould. 1971. Spatial Organization: The
Geographer's View of the World. Prentice Hall. Englewood
Bunge, Wm., 1966. Theoretical Geography. Gleerup. Lund.
Chrisman, Nick. 2006. Charting the Unknown. ESRI Press.
Fisher, Peter, and David Unwin, eds. 2005. Re-Presenting
GIS. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The Atrium, South Gate,
Chichester, West Sussex P019 8SQ, England (but there's probably
a US issued version too).
Fisher, Peter. 2006. Ed.
Classics from IJGIS: Twenty Years of the International Journal of
Geographical Information Science. CRC, Hoboken, NJ, 2006.
Haggett and Chorley. 1967. Models in Geography. Methuen.
London. (Will whoever kept my copy, please return it? Thanks.)
Robinson et al. Elements of Cartography. [Personnally, I
prefer the (1969) 3rd edition, but looking at the changes through
time is very instructive.]
MacEachren, Alan M., 1995, How Maps Work: Representation,
Visualization, and Design, Guilford Press. New York, New York.
Peuquet, Donna. 2002.
Representations of Space and Time. Guilford. New York, NY.
Pavlidis, Theo. 1982.
Algorithms for Graphics and Image Processing.
Computer Science Press. Rockville, Maryland.
Peucker, Thomas K. and Chrisman, Nicholas R. 1975.
"Cartographic Data Structures". The American Cartographer.
Worboys, Mike. 1995. GIS: A Computing Perspective. Taylor
& Francis. Bristol, PA.
Preparata, Franco P., Michael Ian Shamos. 1985.
Computational Geometry: An Introduction.
Samet, Hanan. 1989.
The Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures.
Addison-Wesley. Reading, MA.
Samet, Hanan. 1989.
Applications of Spatial Data Structures: Computer Graphics,
Image Processing, and GIS.
Addison-Wesley. Reading, MA.
Huntington, Ellsworth and S. S. Visher. 1922. Climatic
Changes: Their Nature and Causes. Yale University Press.
(At project gutenberg
here .) The understanding may be dated, but it provides some
disciplinal context, and... notice the way chapter III presents
a set of alternative hypotheses for consdieration.
Robinson, Arthur. (1952) The Look of Maps .
Brewer, Cynthia. (2005) Designing Better Maps and (2008)
Designed Maps .
Felleisen, M., Findler, R.B., Flatt, M. and Krishnamurti, S.
2001. How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Computing and
Programming. MIT Press.
Winograd, T. and Flores, F. 1986.
Understanding Computers and Cognition
Russell, S. and Norvig, P. 2002.
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Apporach (2nd ed.),
Chamberlain, Thomas C., 1890, "The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses",
Science, v. 15, n. 92.
(Reprinted in Science, v. 148, May 1965, p. 754-759.)
Platt, John R., 1964, "Strong Inference", Science v. 146,
n. 3642, 16 October 1964, p. 347-353.
Manicas, Peter. 2006. A Realist Philosophy of Social
Science. Cambridge University Press.
Norman, Donald, 1989. The Design of Everyday Things
(alternatively sold as The Psychology of Everyday Things
Norman, Donald. 1992. Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of
Landauer, Thomas K., 1995, The Trouble with Computers:
Usefulness, Usability, and Productivity. MIT Press.
Shneiderman, Ben 1987. Designing the User Interface: Strategies for
Effective Human-Computer Interaction.
Addison-Wesley. Reading, MA.
Some of the Journals you should be familiar with:
It would be a good idea to at least scan through the contents
of these (even more than the past five years!) to see what kinds
of research they contain and the style of presentation they
employ. It would also be a good idea to follow what is in each new
issue going forward.
The American Cartographer /
Cartography and Geographic Information Systems /
Cartography and Geographic Information Science
Cartographica / Canadian Cartographer
IJGIS International Journal of Geographical Information
Science ("Science" was "Systems" up through 1995)
Journal of Spatial Information Science
Journal of Spatial Science
Environment and Planning A
Environment and Planning D
Geographical & Environmental Modeling
Transactions in GIS
Computers & Geosciences
J of Spatial Cognition and Computing
Other journals pertaining to your specialization should also
be on your list. Don't be afraid to ask faculty who are not
your advisor what they might suggest as well.
Last revisited Dec 2014.