Computer graphics technology for display and interaction
Early interest in the field of computer cartography may be attributed to the realisation that computer graphics technology can be used to plot detailed maps much more quickly and more precisely than is possible using manual methods. The graphical quality of the early digital map products often left much to be desired when judged by traditional standards. The technology was nevertheless particularly attractive when faced with labour-intensive tasks such as mapping the distribution of large quantities of statistics, the plotting of mathematically complex geographical projections, and the generation of 3D views. Modern graphics-plotting devices have now advanced to a stage where they are widely used for high-quality cartographic production, while in GIS,
computer graphics is one of the cornerstones of the technology. In emphasising the benefits of computer graphics for cartography, it should be remembered that the advantages are at the relatively mechanical stage of plotting graphic symbols and interacting with graphics displays. The design of maps is a separate issue, and is very far from being fully automated (see Chapter 15).