Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cartography Spotlight

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills, Instructor, Mrs. Penelope Bishop Mitchell

This week we have 4 Student Spotlights from Cartography, spanning the past 3 weeks. Take a moment to read about them and welcome them to the spotlight!

Week 2: Introduction to Adobe Illustrator

Lab description - This lab introduces multiple tools within Adobe Illustrator, and pairs the graphic design capabilities with cartographic design.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Export a map from ArcGIS into Adobe Illustrator 
  • Add/change basic map elements in Adobe Illustrator 
  • Examine the basic Adobe Illustrator tools 
  • Organize layers and objects in Adobe Illustrator 
  • Export map as a .jpg file from Adobe Illustrator 


          The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Adobe Illustrator assignment:

          Erin Marie Ganzenmuller

          About Erin: Erin grew up in Ohio then joined the Air Force where she was first stationed in Omaha, Nebraska and was deployed to Iraq for seven months. She currently lives in the Panhandle of Florida brought here by her husbands' orders, but she still misses the midwest(when there is a bit less snow on the ground).

          While in the military, Erin worked in Intelligence. However, military life and Intelligence didn't quite suite her so she decided to pursue other options. For a few months she worked at Fontenelle Forest where she had the wonderful opportunity of teaching children about nature, taking care of the resident rehabilitated wildlife on site, hiking through their trails (even in the snow), and meeting their wonderful staff of passionate naturalists.

          Erin's husband then got orders to Hurlburt Field a couple of years ago. They live here with their cat, Charlie, and two dogs, Toto and Zoey. Erin enjoys traveling, learning new things, hanging out with my husband and critters, keeping up on shows like The Walking Dead, and napping. Erin has also recently started particapitating in Geochacing, and find it a fun GIS related hobby.

          Erin is currently enrolled in University of West Florida's Undergraduate GIS Certificate program as well as with American Military University, pursuing an Associate Degree in Human Resources. She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and a certificate in Hazardous Waste Management from AMU. She really likes school. And Starbucks. And memes...

          What we like: Erin was chosen for this week’s spotlight because not only did she apply lecture and laboratory concepts, but she built upon them and exercised some creative freedom!   While the lab instructions introduce how to work a couple of tools in Adobe Illustrator, Erin went on to explore border options as well as employ a unique color scheme.  These along with superb map element placement lead to the production of an informative, eye pleasing map!  Excellent work this week Erin, way to go above and beyond!

          Week 3: Map Composition in Adobe Illustrator

          Lab description - The objective for this lab was for students to prepare an informative choropleth map referring to the Hispanic populations in the Southern part of the state.  Specific attention was paid to map item alignment and color ramp choice to create a polished final product.

          Student Learning Outcomes:

          • Demonstrate proper map design through appropriate placement of and distinction between main map and inset maps 
          • Demonstrate proper map design through appropriate placement of map elements 
          • Apply proper color choice to tie elements together into a cohesive whole 
          • Choose proper fonts and text size to show importance of various elements 


                  The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Map Composition in Adobe Illustrator assignment:

                  Rena Lautzenheiser

                  About Rena: Rena's journey into cartography started years ago(post-Columbus, pre-AutoCAD), back when topo maps were still drawn by hand. She has a bachelor's degree in Land Surveying and worked for several years in surveying and construction for private companies and the National Park Service. She then took a break from that work to become a mom and a teacher. Ten years ago, she resumed surveying in the summers for the Bureau of Land Management in Montana, working mainly with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and on projects such as mining claims, river surveys, and dinosaur digs. Rena's past exposure to GIS was mainly as a resource for her surveying needs. Not she is looking forward to being on the creation side of GIS and hopes that completion of this program will lead to more exciting opportunities in the future. Congratulations on making the spotlight, Rena!

                  What we like: Rena was chosen for this week’s spotlight because of the professional appeal of her final map.  Starting off with the page orientation set to landscape, the inset maps were no longer confined to the bottom or top of her map document.  Next, utilizing the alignment tools to the max, she aligned all elements keeping the entire document well organized.  Using a monochromatic color ramp provides the viewer with an easy interpretation as quantities are moving from high to low.  Lastly including a North arrow in all the inset maps and placing ocean names around the main focus is going the extra mile to make sure everyone is on the same page geographically.  Overall Rena excellent work in creating a simple yet informative map!

                  Honorable Mention

                  Laura Simpkins

                  What we like: Laura's map layout and design showcased the information superbly. Having the map content divided from the inset maps, legend, and map credits prevented the map from becoming jumbled and gave it a more finished look. I felt it was important to point out her map, as it seemed that a lot of students struggled to include all the provided information in the map while still maintaining a polished and cohesive map design and layout.  Well done Laura!

                  Week 4: Typography

                  Lab description - This lab reinforced the ideas of typography discussed in class, by providing a glimpse into the typography features of Adobe Illustrator.  The students followed the typographic guidelines to create a creative, yet informative map of Marathon Key, located in the Florida Keys.

                  Student Learning Outcomes:

                  • Determine elements that all maps need
                  • Recall general rules of typography
                  • Understand generalization operations
                  • Compute scale conversion from one form to another
                  • Continue developing one's own cartographic style

                          STUDENT SPOTLIGHT AWARDS

                          The following students were chosen for their exception work on the Typography assignment:

                          Phredd Groves

                          About Phredd: Phredd is here by way of Providence, RI, where he recently got back into IT with a unix systen admin position after getting his masters in landscape archaeology back in 2008.  Since then, he's had the privilege of digging in London and Iceland for a bit before he had to move back to the States.  Phredd is hoping to get into a fully funded PhD program in a couple of years, although I wouldn't disappointed if he just ended up working for a CRM firm instead.

                          Phredd has been interested in GIS since he started the process of switching careers from IT to archaeology, but didn't get the kind of in depth GIS training he had expected from his Masters program, and he thought the archaeology track here looked like a good option (especially since he couldn't find any appealing GIS programs near where he is).

                          What we like: Phredd was selected for this week’s spotlight for following textbook typographic guidelines!  Phredd showed the city hierarchy by using black for the larger cities and grey for the others, this is a subtle way of showing visual hierarchy.  He also utilized the text on a path tool to better fit the water body text along the geomorphologic features, giving his map a clean, sophisticated look!  Excellent work this week Phredd, way to create a simple yet superb map!

                          Erin Marie Ganzenmuller

                          What we like: Erin was chosen for this week’s spotlight because she excelled on topographic guidelines!  She kept all of her map elements in check with great map element placement and use of the alignment tools.  As having many options to choose from can be exciting, Erin made sure to select a scale and North arrow that would not take away from the map itself.  Finally the one element that set Erins apart was the choice to use an inset map to make sure nothing was lost in geographic translation.  Overall awesome work Erin!

                          Tune in next week on the same bat channel for our spotlight on internship!

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