News from the Atlas
The year 2023 is drawing to a close. It was a year of transition for the Atlas of Switzerland. In April, our long-standing project manager, Dr. René Sieber, retired after 28 years. We would like to thank him warmly for his great commitment, the many ideas, map topics, contacts and innovations that he has initiated and implemented together with his team over the past 4 interactive Atlas software generations! Since May 1, Dr. Andreas Neumann has been the new project manager of the Atlas of Switzerland. His technical background in the fields of cartography, GIS, databases and web technologies will be useful for the further development of the atlas.
However, this was not the only change in the team: a scientific editor and a programmer and IT specialist left the team during the year. They were replaced in the fall and the five-person team is now complete again: a project manager, two scientific editors who take care of the content of the maps and two IT specialists who are responsible for the programming and technical infrastructure.
An important project for the atlas in the first part of the year was the development of a new module for “storytelling”. The idea was to tell stories using maps that are enhanced with additional multimedia elements. Different story-telling modes had been evaluated and implemented. The first results have already been presented at scientific conferences. At the moment the project is on hold and only a first prototype has been developed, but the module will be finalized later in the project.
In the second half of the year, in addition to introducing the new employees, the focus was on initial preparations for a new version of the atlas, with the aim of porting the atlas using web technologies so that it runs directly in the browser without the need for a local installation.
This year, new maps on various topics were published, for example rabies in Switzerland, bathymetry of selected Swiss lakes, gender distribution in cantonal politics, etc. Existing maps were also updated. Because 2023 was a year with elections at federal level, the maps on the National Council elections and the Federal Council elections, for example, were updated. In addition, the maps on aircraft movements and passenger numbers were updated to document the renewed increase in air traffic following the coronavirus pandemic. With regard to planned new maps, the future focus will be on climate change, renewable energies and public transport (especially rail transport).
The atlas is constantly being developed, both in terms of content, functionality and its technical basis. Stay connected with us to always receive the latest news. And if you would like to become part of the team, we would like to draw your attention to the vacancy for a «Python Developer and Geodata Processing Engineer». We look forward to receiving your job application!