Creating a Body of Knowledge for cartography
The nature of knowledge is considered, in particular its creation and formalisation, and some of the issues which re-late to disciplinary knowledge in particular. It is suggested that cartography has particular needs addressing its disciplinary boundaries, the role of uncertain and ‘troublesome’ knowledge in its subject-matter, and the enhancement of its subject-specific knowledge, with more generic supporting material, including skills and attitudes. An overview of Bodies of Knowledge (BoK) in other disciplines has been undertaken, and models of BoK structure, content and usage have been assessed. BoKs in closely related subjects, including civil engineering, GIS and software engineering, give examples of good practice. The paper concentrates on the work done to date to create the cartography BoK, and the adoption of the ‘Delphi’ method of consultation to develop it. The Delphi method is intended to yield consensus on the scope, content, context and use of the BoK. It is regarded as a rigorous process, iterative (and therefore time consuming), involving questionnaire survey, opinion gathering, discourse analysis, and feedback. The participants are expected to be experts, from a range of different sectors, but ‘volunteer amateurs’ are also important consultants.