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Assignment 9: Introduction to Mapping Software

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Course Content   ::   Lesson 11   ::   Assignment 9

Short Description:

In keeping with the tradition of introducing students to new possibilities for visualization software, this week we practice using mapping tools for explanations. Mapping tools are used for many everyday applications, such as: finding potential customers, locating the best place for a new business, identifying natural areas needing protection, finding the best places of develop real estate, manage extensive road networks, do emergency planning in urban areas, etc. In this exercise, you’ll explore a mapping tool of your choice, creating high-quality maps/charts.

ArcView (and its derivations) is a powerful mapping tool that you may choose to use for this assignment. However, students may spend multiple quarters (even years) learning GIS and ArcView, while we have one week. Therefore, this week’s assignment is more about learning about some potential applications and what mapping tools are all about, rather than have you try to become experts with the ArcView.



    • Find and examine mapping data from the neighborhood you live (or another geographically interesting location) using a mapping tool of your choice. Find a different place that you’ve visited that has different information from the map from your neighborhood (ex. national park, Antarctica). For each map, the data can be as “close” or as “far” as you’d like. Make at least two interesting visualizations from data of your own choosing. You will likely be further detailing aspects of it in Illustrator. Turn it in as a Word document with accompanying appropriate text.
Technology Features – Your results will include:
    • One Word document that contains at least 2 bitmap visualizations, along with descriptions of the visualizations. Be sure to include reasons why you find this information informative and how you made it visually compelling using emphasis elements. Present at least 2 ideas for how using a GIS system or mapping data may be integrated into your final project.
    • Consider carefully your accompanying text to your visualizations. Make sure it reflects the ideas you’ve represented in your graphics. Be complete, descriptive, and format your assignment in a way that is visually pleasing and makes sense.
Objectives of this assignment
    • This is not only an introduction to a software tool. It is a way to take advantage of a visualization in order to identify information and think about your final project.
    • Use your Illustrator skills to finish a visual made from another visualization package.
    • Practice creating a complete message through text-based description.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Assignment 9: Introduction to Mapping Software. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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