Novice is a term for beginners in learning a certain skill. As opposed to professionals and experts, the novice is an amateur who has room for mistakes but is expected to constantly work on his or her craft until excellence is achieved. Map-making and GIS are fields in which so many practitioners have claimed expertise on. Cartography – the science and art of creating effective maps – is an aspect of map making that seems to lack the attention that the other domains are afforded. There would be very few map makers out there who would sell themselves as cartography experts – either because of lack of confidence in their skills or in the term itself. We believe that the latter is the case, as cartography is not a very popular area of specialization in the Philippines.
It is in this light that the novice takes the advantaged stature, being the neophyte at an age where spatial resources and tools are more accessible to the public, and space is progressively seen as a “framework of analysis”. It is best to begin a mapping endeavor with eyes that can tell a good from a bad (i.e., effective and not-so-effective) map, and with a mind that is keen on the objective and subjective elements of maps.
We hope that our novice efforts are worth your time. Feel free to comment on the content of the succeeding pages.