Dr Mike J Smith
The Journal of Maps: rationale for its establishment and review of initial operations
The Cartographic Journal, 43(1), 90-96
Maps have been central to the research goals of spatial disciplines for over 150 years; to store, analyse and present geographical information. This paper outlines the importance of mapping as a fundamental tool of geographical enquiry yet highlights the subsequent decline in their published form. The Journal of Maps (JoM) is an attempt to redress the balance and provide an outlet for publication of maps of all types; an antidote to the malaise in map publication. This paper goes on to provide a review of the development and launch of the journal from its initial inception through to the novel approach of the e-only publication model. After a brief synopsis of papers in the first issue, the difficult question of geospatial data copyright is addressed. Taken within the context of the United Kingdom, the severe restrictions imposed by the Ordnance Survey (OS) mean that map publication, based upon OS data, is at best unlikely. Indeed a paper accepted for publication by JoM was ultimately rejected for infringement of OS licensing. With a wealth of spatial data now available to researchers and cartographers, and an open-access publication channel through JoM, maps are rapidly becoming central to many academic subjects. However issues of licensing and copyright remain central to the future development of the discipline.