Charlie Frye

Adjunct Faculty, Chief Cartographer for Esri
Geographic Information Systems

Charlie Frye


M.A., Geography, Kansas State University


Charlie Frye is chief cartographer at Esri, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He designed and produced many of the mapmaking portions of Esri’s software (including ArcView and ArcGIS) used by millions of GIS professionals. He has led internal research efforts for innovating online mapping technology and, more recently, the design of production systems for web GIS services.

Over the past decade he has worked on strategic projects, partnering with customers whose work pioneered the use of Esri’s software. These include groups within the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau, SwissTopo, and the Texas Natural Resources Information Systems group. Frye also led and collaborated on research projects on multi-scale map design and topographic map generalization with Pennsylvania State University and  the University of Colorado. He has sponsored or been a co-sponsor of several Major Individual Projects for M.S. GIS students at the University of Redlands.

Areas of Interest
Frye's  interests include designing robust data classification methods, pioneering the use of TrueType fonts for use in digital maps, functional designs for automated text placement algorithms, and developing symbol sets for geologic, topographic, local government, and multi-scale maps. His topical interests include place perception, mapping landforms and physical features, mapping the natural environment, and historical GIS, particularly the American Revolutionary War.

Frye is the author of hundreds of blog articles detailing the use of ArcGIS software for mapping and cartographic application.