Digital Geography

25. August 2013

NeoCartography and the need to code

The time when I studied Geography and Mathematics is long ago. So I chose Cartography as one major part of my studies and learned to draw circles and a good cartographic representation of discrete values as an example. As I have chosen this field of cartography and GIS I am well aware of the changes that came to this fields. Especially Cartography made big leaps to be more represented by Geoinformatics than those traditional map makers. And I would assume that it is hard for Geographers and Cartographers to catch up with all those fancy programming stuff. Nevertheless I think it needs to be a common knowledge how to style a good and exact map in times and terms of the internet.

Good things come to those who wait… Learning the needed programming skills for creating these kind of webmaps can be a pain in the “arse” and so I’ve found codeacademy. You can learn interactively different scripting languages that come with little example and some theoretical background (did you know that depending on script-type a neverending loop can either break the visitor’s pc or yours serving the script…):

types of scripting languages learnable at codeacademy

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The “sessions” are splitted up in a left sided info/example-window, a tab for your code and a small screen to see your results:

example lesson in php

You can easily switch between lessons to catch up with older examples if you forgot something, earn and share your badges of succesfully mastered courses and join learning groups to get to know others with their projects.
Summing up codeacademy is a wonderful starting point in learning languages like Python, JS or PHP. Together with corresponding boards at stackoverflow you should be able to build beatiful webmaps and other great stuff for the web without spending a cent on books or paid tutorials.