Dr. Fritz C. Kessler

Associate Professor
Department of Geography
Frostburg State University

For Complete Vitae-- Click Here






At left is Dr. Kessler enjoying one of his favorite pastimes - playing his 1991 Stelling Master's Cross banjo at bluegrass festivals. 


This picture was taken at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in May 2005 by Loretta Kessler.

























§  Office: 230 Gunter Hall

§  Office Phone: (301) 687-4266

§  Departmental Phone: (301) 687-4369

§  Departmental Fax: (301) 687-4495

§  E-mail: fkessler@frostburg.edu 

Office Hours Spring 2015


Professional Efforts

Book Publications

Thematic Cartography and Geovisualization

Slocum, Terry, McMaster, Robert, Kessler, Fritz, and Howard, Hugh. 2009.

Thematic Cartography and Geovisualization. 3rd Ed. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River: NJ.

From the Publisher Prentice Hall -- 

"This comprehensive text bridges the evolution in cartography by presenting both traditional methods and recently developed cartographic techniques. It provides a compendium of methods for symbolizing and visualizing spatial data, from the traditional methods that presume a communication model to computer-based techniques that provide a means of data visualization."


Mapping America: Exploring the Continent

Kessler, Fritz. 2010. Contributing Author to...Mapping America: Exploring the Continent. Black Dog Publishing. London, England.

From the Publisher Black Dog Publishing --

Following on from Mapping New York and Mapping London, Mapping America: Exploring the Continent takes a similar approach in its presentation, thematically arranging a vivid collection of historic, demographic, cultural and artistic maps to aid the reader on their journey. Featuring four centuries of maps that depict the changing landscape of North America, Mapping America charts the continent through numerous landmark events and uprisings, including the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and more recent concerns, such as the environment and terrorism.

Selected Refereed Publications

2012. Battersby, Sarah and Kessler, Fritz. “Cues for Interpreting Distortion in Map Projections.” Journal of Geography, 111(3):93-101.


2011. Kessler, Fritz. “Volunteered Geographic Information: A Bicycling Enthusiast Perspective.” Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 38(3): 258-268.


2011. Kessler, Fritz and Slocum, Terry. “Analysis of Thematic Maps Published in Two Geographical Journals in the Twentieth Century.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101(2):292-317.

2004. Slocum, T., R. Sluter, F. Kessler , and S. Yoder. “A Qualitative Evaluation of MapTime Cartographica 39(3):43 – 68.

2002. “Focus Groups as a Means of Qualitatively Assessing the U-Boat Narrative.” Cartographica 37(4):33 – 60.

2001. Slocum, T., S. Yoder , F. Kessler, and R. Sluter.  “MapTime: Software for Visualizing Spatiotemporal Data Associated with Point Locations.”  Cartographica. 37(1):15 – 31.

2000.  “A Visual Basic Algorithm for the Winkel Tripel Projection.” Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 27(2):177 – 183.



Professional Associations and Activities








North American Cartographic Information Society www.nacis.org

Current Member of Editorial Board

Past Editor, Cartographic Perspectives

Past Board Member

Past Poster Session Organizer and Student Poster Competition Organizer










Cartography and Geographic Information Science cartogis.org

Board Member 2014 - Present


Current Course Offerings

GEOG 103: Introduction to Physical Geography
     For Additional GEOG 103 Course Information-- Click Here


GEOG 310: Fundamentals in the Mapping Sciences
     For Additional GEOG 310 Course Information-- Click Here


GEOG 380: Research Methods in Geography
     For Additional GEOG 380 Course Information-- Click Here


GEOG 433: Surveying and Field Techniques
     For Additional Geog 433 Course Information-- Click Here

GEOG 492 and 495: Internship in Geography

      For additional information and opportunities on internships -- Click Here

Software Development

Winkel Tripel Plot Software

The Winkel Projection shown with a 30-degree graticule produced in WORLD and finished in Freehand.

Oswald Winkel (1873-1953) produced three world projections, the first two of which were pseudocylindrical. Winkel I was produced in 1914 by averaging the Sinusoidal and cylindrical equidistant projections. The standard parallels for the cylindrical equidistant were placed at 50 degrees 28 minutes north and south. Winkel, in 1918, took a similar approach in creating his second projection, Winkel II, by averaging the cylindrical equidistant and Mollweide projection. Winkel's third projection, the Triple, is his best known projection. The Tripel was another averaging, this time between the cylindrical and Aitoff projections. Winkel applied the German term Tripel, meaning "a combination of three elements", to suggest that his projection compromises areal, angular, and distance properties resulting in a projection having lower overall distortion than a projection seeking to preserve only one of these properties.

Winkel Plot is written in Visual Basic 6.0 and plots the Winkel Tripel's graticule along with a simple coastline file. Winkel Plot is freely available to anyone who wants the program. Users can either download the setup program, or the Visual Basic code and associated files by clicking on one of the links below. This program is optimized to run at a screen resolution of 1024x768.

A note for Visual Basic 5 users who wish to view the code and compile the program: If you open 'WinkelTripel.vbp' in a text editor such as Notepad and remove the line "Retained=0" the program will work fine in Visual Basic 5.0.

Thanks to Paul B. Anderson who gave a preliminary review of the software and the note about converting Winkel Plot to Visual Basic 5.0.

MaPEd: Map Projection Education Software

Map projections are often difficult for students to comprehend, especially for those needing to visualize a process before understanding it. Specifically, discussing the mathematics behind projection equations is often avoided in the classroom. This is unfortunate since the parameters of the equations control the appearance of the projection. MaPEd is a new and potentially useful software designed for teaching and understanding the mathematics of map projections.

A common approach for teaching map projections is to utilize software that permits projection parameters to be specified (e.g., location of the central meridian). While this approach is suitable for creating and displaying map projections, it does not perform well as a teaching tool. For example, input of projection parameters is often on pull-down menus or separate forms that are not always visible. This often confuses students when trying to recall the parameters that were specified in relation to the map displayed.

MaPEd, developed in Visual Basic 6.0, offers a new interface design allowing students to quickly explore parameters of map projection equations and visualize the results. For instance, MaPEd’s interface allows students to iteratively change one parameter of a projection equation while holding all others constant and instantly see the results of their parameter specification. By employing this new interface design, MaPEd helps students understand the mathematics behind the appearance of a projection, how specific parameters influence that appearance, and the numerical range of parameters that are permissible for different projections.

General Installation Instructions: A zip file called MaPEd.ZIP will be downloaded to the default location C:\ProgramFiles, or a location that you specify. Once downloaded, use WinZip to decompress it. Three files will result:

Run the Setup.exe program and follow the instructions (a MaPEd.exe file results).

Some Notes on MaPED Installation -- Please Read Before Installation

During installation you may encounter the following problems:

A program group icon may or may not appear on the Start Programs list. Thus, when starting the program, you may have to go to the C:\ProgramFiles\MaPEd folder (the default installation location unless you specified elsewhere) and double click on the MaPEd icon. This is a problem I am trying to solve.

If you encounter any problems, please contact me. I solicit your feedback and comments about this software.

For additional information e-mail me at fkessler@frostburg.edu

Last Updated 01/15