• Dominique René

Times they are a changing

A message from our new President and Vice President


Everything we do in our daily lives, our work, our interests and hobbies are up for reappraisal and review and the BCS will need to fully embrace change going forward. Following the AGM, we have a new and dynamic Council, with fresh faces and many new ideas about the future. In our roles as President and Vice President we are keen to make the BCS more relevant, more engaged and more responsive to our members’ interests. Our membership has held pretty steady this year, many new members balanced by those who decided not to continue. The biggest casualty has been the educational membership as the pandemic stopped our Restless Earth programme. We are moving to a new online membership renewal solution for 2021 to make better use of our administrative resource. Keep a close eye out for the renewal reminders as they come out before Christmas. For 2021 we have already put in place some new initiatives, which we think will excite you, as well as working hard on all our core activities.



Our activities

Winter Lecture: our Winter Lecture series returns with a first event being a repeat of Barbara Bond’s talk to the Royal Geographical Society.

BCS Teatime Talks: for 2021 we are planning a regular series of short talks on a wide range of topics – projects, case studies, points of interest from historic mapping and archives to the latest ideas on data visualisation. Put the third Thursday of each month in your diary – 5pm for a 20 min webinar. The first talk will be by John Peaty on 21 January, with a ‘taster’ talk to set up the series on 7 of January. Join us if you can and if you would like to offer a talk contact Christopher Budas, chair of Programme Committee.

Better Mapping: we are planning a relaunch of this initiative called GeoViz, with the development of an online resource centre. Many thanks to Claire Birnie for agreeing to help out. Keep a lookout for some exciting developments in the new year.

2021 Conference: with all the uncertainty, one thing you can be sure of, there will be a conference in 2021. Supported by the British Geological Survey, Jennifer Johnston and Henry Holbrook are planning for a virtual event with the option of an actual get together if the rules allow. Another date for your diary – 8–9 September.

Cartographic Journal: nothing particularly new to report but just to remind everyone how important the globally recognised academic journal is and the key role it has to play in maintaining our presence on the global stage. Thanks to Alex Kent for his continuing hard work as editor.

Maplines: since Caroline Robinson took over as editor we have seen a refreshed format and broader content. Continue to give her and the team all your support with articles, comments and ideas.


Staying connected

BCS-Forum: we have launched a successor to the now defunct Carto-Soc online forum for anyone to get advice and tips on any matter cartographic. Please use it and respond to those who ask questions. We hope it will become as valuable and widely used as its predecessor. Many thanks to Jim Goldsmith for getting it up and running. You can access it here.

New website: we are currently working on a brand new website, which will be launched shortly. Thanks in particular to Dominique René and Liz Bourne, our administrator, for working so hard to get this up and running.

Social media: we will be placing more emphasis on using social media to promote what the Society does. Let us know what, if any, are your preferred platforms and we will endeavour to make sure we can link to you. Thanks to Clare Seldon for taking the lead with this.

YouTube: BCS is recording as many of the talks as we are permitted to do and will put these on our YouTube channel. Here you can find all the talks from the 2019 conference plus some other items.

So, lots going on, and we haven’t mentioned the UK Cartographic Committee, Awards, Fellows and Corporate Members, all of which we have ideas about. We also want to engage more actively with the broader data visualisation community. We plan to hold a strategy meeting early in 2021. This will set out our ambitions for the future. We will share this with the membership and look forward to your help and support in making it happen.


Seppe Cassettari, President

Paul Naylor, Vice President


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