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Programming Environment for Interactive Cartography

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Programming Environment for Interactive Cartography

"cartokit is a direct manipulation programming environment for interactive cartography on the web.

Many cartographers make heavy use of direct manipulation interfaces for map design. Whether these are built-in cartography tools in QGIS or ArcGIS, vector editing software like Figma or Adobe Illustrator, or style specification editors like Mapbox Studio or Maputnik, direct manipulation tools help us create maps faster.

As cartography has shifted to the web, however, our material for mapping has expanded. We can now make maps by writing programs in addition to working with static media. Libraries like D3, Leaflet, and Mapbox GL JS are incredibly powerful for data-intensive mapping on the web. However, these tools also have steep learning curves—you need to be a proficient JavaScript developer just to get started.

Could we have the best of both worlds? Can we give users access to rich direct manipulation interfaces for styling maps while automatically writing programs for them? This is cartokit's central goal."


Parker Ziegler

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