Making Mapping for a Sustainable World

  • 6. dubna 2023
  • Lecture will take place in lecture room Z4, building 5, Kotlářská 2.

Robert E. Roth


Mapping for a Sustainable World is an open source textbook jointly-published by the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and United Nations (UN) that provides an introductory guide for reaching the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the monitoring and mapping of geospatial data. I was part of a five-person editorial team for the book that spanned the ICA (Kraak, Roth, Ricker) and the UN (Kagawa, Le Sourd), and I supervised the visual design and layout of the book through my Director role with the University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab (Cart Lab). In this talk, I first introduce the SDGs and the global indicator framework employed by the UN to monitor progress towards the SDGs. Next, I describe the vision for and organization of the Mapping for a Sustainable World textbook, as well as the workflows imposed by the editorial team to develop this content in an ambitious 18 month period (and across an international group of stakeholders during a global pandemic!). I then narrow into “behind-the-scenes” lessons learned from the visual design work performed by the Cart Lab. In total, the Cart Lab produced the complete InDesign layout—which drew from principles of atlas design to enable the small, handheld book format—and 227 unique maps, diagrams, and figures for the book: 94 SDGs maps, 68 schematic maps, 35 SDG diagrams, and 30 other figures. I conclude with reflections on designing a textbook like an atlas, and more broadly on cartography’s role in achieving a sustainable world.

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