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Programmers' list has been a pleasure to read. Stats' list is growing fast as well. So perhaps there is a place for separate one on this site?

Please share your nuggets of wisdom / humour / inspiration from the world of GIS, cartography and mapping.

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the title is a bit awkward, I had no idea what the Q was about before reading it. Perhaps "great GIS, maps & cartography quotes"? –  matt wilkie Aug 8 '10 at 6:58

35 Answers 35

NAD83: We're not in Kansas anymore

Does anybody know who coined this quote?

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"I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more." -Dorothy, "The Wizard of Oz" –  R Thiede Oct 10 '11 at 13:35

There's always the Bellman's map:

 He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank:
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best--
A perfect and absolute blank!"

The Hunting of the Snark, Lewis Carroll.

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GIS, ... more than just maps

This came out of pure frustration in a conversation as my non-GIS boss did not truly understand what we do.

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It's Turtles all the way down

Here's the detailed explanation via Wikkipedia:

Turtles all the way down

It's only tangentially related to cartography and GIS, but it reminds me that I should question my assumptions and be wary of dogma. Plus it makes me think of Discworld.

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Psychoanalysis is to the subconscious what cartography is to Sahara dunes.

-- Anonnymous --


History is nothing but geography over time, such as geography is nothing but history in space.

-- Élisée Reclus -- (translated from french)

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