The NSS Cartographic Salon, which is held annually at the National Speleological Society Convention, has four purposes:
- Foster interest in cave cartography as a technical skill and art form.
- Encourage the exchange of techniques and styles.
- Recognize cartographic excellence.
- Showcase recent exploration and mapping projects worldwide.
- Salon area, where the best of new cave maps are displayed.
- An awards presentation at the Salon Awards Show.
- The informative and entertaining Friday Morning Critique sessions.
The Cartographic Salon is
operated by the Survey and Cartography Section
of the NSS. Visit their home at SACS
Entrant’s Guide to the NSS Cartographic Salon
JUDGING AND AWARDS
|SALON AWARDS SHOW
FRIDAY MORNING CRITIQUES
All cave cartographers are welcome to enter maps. You do not need to be a US resident or NSS member. A map may be entered only by its cartographer, unless written permission from the cartographer is provided. The salon considers the cartographer to be the person or persons who drew the final map and who created the look and arrangement of the final map.
Type of Maps
Maps of caves or karst related features may be entered. There are no restrictions of cave size or location.
The salon accepts a variety of formats and methods of presentation. Innovations are encouraged.
Number of Maps
Cartographers may enter as many as five maps per annual salon.
There are no fees for the Cartographic Salon.
- Paper Maps
Entrants must supply a copy of their paper map to the salon.
Maps may be printed on paper or film as a single sheet, as multiple sheets, or in book form. Maps included in books or journals may be entered.
Originals should not be entered. Damage may occur during shipping, hanging, or display.
All sizes of maps are welcome, but the salon area may not have the space or the means to display formats larger than either 60 inches high or 144 inches wide, whether on a single sheet or on combined sheets. Every effort will be made to include all maps entered, even if the map must be displayed outside the salon area. Contact the Salon Chair ahead of time.
- Electronic Displays
Electronic displays of maps are welcome, as long as the entrant supplies the necessary equipment and is entirely responsible for its set up and security. Such maps should be on display through convention day and evening hours from Monday to Friday noon. Stands or tables for display equipment must be supplied or arranged for by the entrant.
- Web Maps
Put a URL for your map on the salon entry form, and we will do the rest. Innovation in this media is welcome and encouraged.
Criteria specific to web based maps have not yet been developed for this salon, but it is likely that the presentation should include features that use the web format to advantage, such as view control or interactive controls.
We will post the web address of the map in the salon area (include the URL on your entry form). See this example (the example is just a PDF, not a 3D map or especially interactive, though at least it is a vector PDF so one can zoom in radically).
Models or other 3D maps are welcome. Stands or tables for models, and any special lighting, must be supplied by the entrant.
The entry form can be found on this website. Detailed instructions are presented below.
- Name of the Cartographer(s)
Enter the full name of the cartographer for all the maps entered. At a minimum, include a complete first and last name.
Where all the maps are created by more than one cartographer, list the names at the top of the form. The order of names shown on the entry form will be used in any award presentations.
Where not all the maps entered have the same set of cartographers, either submit separate entry forms or list all the cartographers alongside the entry for each map.
Provide contact information for one of the cartographers. The number for a cell phone carried at convention may be handy.
Enter the Cartographic Salon category that applies to the cartographers entering the maps (see Judging and Awards). If there is more than one cartographer, pick the most experienced category that applies to any of the cartographers.
- Map Names, Locations, and Special Formats
For each map, enter the name of the cave and its location, including county, state, and country (or non-US equivalents).
If the map shows a section, quadrant, or other subdivision of a cave, include both the name of the section and the name of the cave. For system or thematic maps, enter the map title.
If the map is not a wall map, or is more than either 60 inches tall or 144 inches wide, please describe the format.
If you run out of room, use the back or write more in a cover letter.
Please read the use rights section of the entry form. If you want to have your winning map shown during the Salon Awards Presentations and shown in the record of winners on the NSS website, then mark the box and put your dated signature at the bottom. This is optional.
- Map Dispersal
Most maps entered in the salon are archived with the NSS Bookstore. If you want your map back, please provide instructions. See the Map Dispersal section.
- You are encouraged to include digital images with your entries, to be shown during the Salon Awards Show and displayed on the NSS website. You can include a CD of images with your map or email them to the Salon Chair. Any images you supply are likely to be much better quality than photos taken at the salon. You may supply native vector graphic files, screen grabs, or exports from native mapping programs.
- Include an image of the entire sheet (or one of each sheet if more than one) plus one or two images of map details. Files should be about 2 to 4 MB or perhaps more, but must be less than 10 MB (for emailing).
- PDFs with vector graphics are welcome. For raster images, PNG files are preferred, with about 1200 pixels on the major dimension. PNG or similar formats can compress large white or other single-value areas without loss or artifacts. JPEG at high quality may work okay, but please avoid low or medium quality JPEG compression, which creates ugly JPEG artifacts around map graphics.
- If you don't provide digital images but do grant rights for images, the salon judges may photograph maps to create digital images.
Delivery of entry materials
- Entry materials may be dropped off at the salon area from 7 am to noon on Monday morning.
- Entry materials may also be shipped to the Cartographic Salon Chair, postmarked no later than by June 3rd, 2017
- Entry forms and digital images may be emailed to the Cartographic Salon Chair.
- Shipped maps must survive both mailing and the ride to convention. Standard cardboard mailing tubes are suitable
- To get your entries returned, see the Map Dispersal section.
- During the NSS convention, an indoor area is set aside for the display of all the maps entered into the Cartographic Salon. We hope for plenty of wall space, good lighting, and a lot of convention traffic. See the convention map when you register.
- The salon may be held in an area that is not locked at night or while unattended.
- Salon judges accept and hang maps Monday morning of convention (see Schedule below). Maps are taped to walls or pinned to poster stands.
- Entry forms and a ballot box are available in the salon area for convention attendees to vote their preference for “People’s Choice” award.
- Map critiques are conducted at the salon area on Friday morning.
Awards are usually hung on the winning maps sometime Wednesday evening.
Maps are entered in one of three categories, based on the experience level of the map’s cartographers.
The apprentice category is for cartographers who have never been awarded a ribbon at a previous NSS Cartographic Salon.
The experienced category is for cartographers who have won one or more ribbons at a previous NSS Cartographic Salon, but not a Medal.
The master category is for cartographers who have been awarded the Medal at a previous NSS Cartographic Salon.
- The judges are cave cartographers with salon experience who volunteer to critique maps and assign awards. Typically each category has three judges.
- Judges who have maps entered in the salon will not judge that category and will not participate in awarding a salon Medal.
- Judging criteria for the Cartographic Salon are defined in the judging criteria document. Both the awards and the critiques provided by the judges will be guided by this document. You should review these criteria before entering a map in the salon. Moreover, every cave cartographer is well served to review this document before starting a cave map and to use it as a guide and check list for their work.
- Judges have the discretion to add or eliminate categories based the set of entries submitted to the salon.
Awards by Salon Judges
Three types of awards may be granted by the salon judges. All are based on the level of quality perceived by the salon judges, without regard to other maps at the salon. Any number or none of these awards may be given each year.
- Honorable Mention
Given to maps that demonstrate cartographic technique at a level suited to the category.
- Merit Award
Given to maps that demonstrate consistent cartographic technique at the top level of the category.
Given to outstanding maps that demonstrate a consistent excellence of cartographic technique.
People’s Choice Award
A ballot box and slips are provided at the salon area for a popular vote. Registered attendees of the convention may each vote once for the one map in the Salon they like best. Ballots must be entered before 5 pm Wednesday. Judges will review the votes and assign the award based on the vote tally.
Awards are presented by the Cartographic Salon Chair at the Salon Awards Show. This is traditionally held on Thursday evening at convention and includes all the great NSS Salons.
The most important part of the Cartographic Salon is the critique of the maps. This often is the only opportunity a mapper has to hear feedback from a group of fellow cave cartographers who each have taken time to study the map and to construct careful advice.
- Only maps entered for judging are reviewed and critiqued. As judges study each map, they fill out a judging sheet. They write both positive and negative comments, note features and qualities, and rate various aspects of the map, all based on our standard judging criteria (see Judging and Awards). The judging sheets are used when awards are decided, and they are given to the cartographers after the salon.
- A critique session is held on Friday morning at the salon area. Cartographers who entered the salon can come hear critiques, ask questions, give their opinions, and get recognition for their accomplishments. Everyone at convention is welcome to attend, to make their comments, to join in the discussion about what makes a good map, and to share their interest and passion about cave maps.
- The Friday morning session of critiques and discussions is the heart of the Cartographic Salon. As perhaps the only national venue to share ideas about mapping art and techniques, where everyone has a chance to contribute, it should be at the top of everyone’s convention to-do list.
- Cartographers will be given their judging sheets at the critique session. If they cannot attend, the sheets will be either mailed, or scanned and emailed.
- Maps are taken down at the end of the critique session.
- Typically salon maps are donated to the NSS Library. You have the option to pick up your maps at the end of the critique session and before noon. If you want someone else to retrieve your maps, this should be stated on the entry form with the name of the person who will pick them up.
- If you want a map shipped back, you must provide a shipping label and a check for $5 made out to the Cartographic Salon Chair with “for return shipping” written on it.
SCHEDULE OF THE 2017 CARTOGRAPHIC SALON
To be held in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
|Saturday, June 3rd||
Deadline for receiving entries by mail. Send to:
|Monday, June 19th||Deliver maps between 7 am and noon to the Cartographic Salon display area.|
|Wednesday, June 21st||Judges meet between 5 pm and 7 pm in the Cartographic Salon display area (closed session).|
|Thursday, June 22nd||Awards are presented Thursday evening at the NSS Salon Awards Presentation.|
|Friday, June 23rd||Map
critiques are presented between 9 am and noon in
Salon display area. All convention attendees are welcome to
Maps may be retrieved between 9 am and noon in the Cartographic Salon display area. Maps will be donated to the NSS Library unless you get it before noon or arrange for shipping.
1908 Angleside Road
Fallston MD 21047