I love maps. I have a calendar with historical maps on my wall next to my desk. I love books based around atlases (such as the Historical Atlas of series (many by Ian Barnes (similarly related review)). I like going to museums, visiting websites, used book shops, etc and just peruse the maps. I used to have a small collection of rail and bus transit maps from around the world (London, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York City, Washington DC, Chicago …). On my phone I have Apple Maps, Google Maps, MapQuest, Scout, TeleNav, Park Me, and Google Earth.
I wish I could be a cartographer.
I can’t draw, though – so I sate my appetite for geography via reading maps others have made.
Data visualization, which is all map-making is, is another, broader interest of mine – but also one I don’t have enough of a grasp of to work with intelligently too often.
All this leads me to ask for the best introduction to GIS you have seen for someone interested in cartography, and with a basic knowledge of system design and architecture. What would it be?