Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cartography Student Spotlight

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills, Instructor, Mrs. Penelope Bishop Mitchell

Data Classification Lab

Lab description - This lab focused on utilizing ArcMap to demonstrate the basic procedures normally used to classify data for choropleth mapping.  Students classified data based on a single criterion from census information.  The provided data was classified in four different ways: Equal Interval, Quantile, Standard Deviation, and Natural Breaks

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Compare and demonstrate the four methods of classification generally used for mapping
  • Choose the best classification that demonstrates your data
  • Utilize ArcGIS to prepare a map with four data frames
  • Review the process to manually change class breaks in ArcGIS 


              The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Data Classification 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: The lab focused on different methods of data classification and so keeping this in mind it was important to create a map document that proved easy to read for comparison and interpretation.  Rena's map did just that, paying close attention to map item alignment and overall neatness! The color scheme is one of the most important components for comparison, and Rena’s did a great job at communicating the information!  She improved readability in the legend by truncating the decimal places, and provided the document with an informative title that has a professional edge.  The second map for this project illustrated the student’s preferred method; Rena chose Natural Breaks and provided ample information within her blog, showing her understanding of the topic and backing up her decision.  Also within her Natural Breaks map, she utilized tools such as text on a path, and provided an inset of Florida, all of which contributed to her being chosen for this week’s spotlight!  Excellent work Rena!

              Choropleth Mapping Lab

              Lab description - In the "Choropleth Mapping" laboratory assignment students produced two separate choropleth maps, one in color and one in black and white.  These maps illustrate population change of the United States utilizing census data.

              Student Learning Outcomes:

              • Choose an appropriate color scheme for a choropleth map
              • Create appropriate legend for classification scheme
              • Calculate population change statistics in Excel
              • Implement appropriate classification method for population data
              • Manipulate and enhance geospatial data using graphic design capabilities of Adobe Illustrator 

                                STUDENT SPOTLIGHT AWARDS

                                The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Choropleth Mapping assignment:

                                Stewart Boyd

                                About Stewart: Stewart is currently working as a licensed professional engineer in Terre Haute, Indiana. He uses maps on a daily basis for everything from mineral reserve analysis, groundwater tracking, geologic modeling, to the delineation of wetlands and streams, and etc.  Stewart primarily uses AutoCAD Map for his daily activities, and AutoCAD has been integrating GIS into its functions.  The GIS databases provided online, primarily through government websites, have made his job a lot easier on a day-to-day basis. Stewart is taking these courses to make certain he has a good understanding of the resources available and hopefully to become more efficient in his day to day duties. And by the way, he really likes making maps! Welcome to the spotlight, Stewart!

                                What we like: This lab focused on choropleth mapping, and producing two maps showing US Population growth from 1990—2000.  The first map being in color representing population change by state, introduced the classic and possibly most difficult aspect of Cartography…which color is the right color?  Stewart hit it spot on, presenting the information clearly and keeping it pleasing to the eyes!  On top of that the overall neatness and arrangement of his map elements was superb and illustrated the concepts of craftsmanship, before the concept was even suggested!  All typographic rules were obeyed eliminating the threat of overlapping text and his legend was easily readable.  The professional, polished appearance of his map shows an understanding in navigating through Adobe Illustrator.  Overall, well done Stewart!

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