How has the cartography industry fared?

There is lots of discussion about how digital innovation has affected the newspaper, music and publishing industries – newspapers disappearing, music downloads, e-books – but has anyone looked into how the cartography (aka map making) industry has fared?

For our trip to the southern Cape in July I used Nokia Maps on my phone and Google Maps on my laptop; in the ‘old days’ I would have gone to the AA or a shop and bought some maps of the area. If I am going to a new address in Johannesburg, I now use the same technology instead of referring to the creased road map that is in my car.

In my early working years at Wits University, I played squash with the main cartographer for the university – he did all the maps and diagrams for academics who needed them for their publications. He left S.Africa and went to work at Cambridge, and I wonder how his job has changed?


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