Cartography and Geoinformation Systems


If you ask someone with at least some idea on what cartography is, an immediate and most likely response would be “Cartography is the art and science of mapmaking, map production and is related to land surveying”.  That is as far as the traditional definition contains it.

After the Second World War, Cartography matured more with the introduction of computer technology, and the development of digital (GIS) geospatial databases and acquired a new identity as digital cartography/mapping. Almost anyone who has used a GIS software for any form of geospatial analysis would admit that the most exciting and actualization of GIS is cartographic display in form of maps. The only frustrating aspect of digital cartography at the early years was the proliferation of GIS databases covering many different map scales and data themes – bringing into disarray to an otherwise organized discipline.

In the late 20th century and early 21st century, some entrepreneurial companies saw opportunities to exploit the ease with which the Internet and computing technologies provided access to spatial data. As a result, the technology-enabled world demanded and received instant access to geospatial data and often in real -time. Example of instant access in Smart phone, wireless Internet and location based services, such as in - car GPS navigation, freed users to access information wherever they were, whenever they required it.

In the Geospatial Engineering course, and at different levels of study, students will be introduced to the full spectrum of courses in thematic area of cartography, ranging from: basic cartographic drawing, cartographic communication, geographic and grid coordinates, Map properties, Map design, geographic names and toponymy, digital cartography, crowd sourced mapping, cartographic geovisualisation, map animation, web/internet-based mapping, cartographic generalization and more.

Thematic Head - Dr.-Ing. D. N. Siriba

T. M. Njoroge

N. A. Oyugi