Maps in the Wild, Analysis

Activity: Maps in the wild
Deliverables: 1) One online post with attached picture and text and 2) one online response. Please start early so your fellow classmates can more readily participate.

Spurred in part by the increasing accessibility of GIS software and online mapping, maps have become an increasingly common part of popular media and political argument. For this online class activity, your job is to find a map “in the wild”— online, in print, or in the world at large — that you feel is making a point or statement for a public audience. This map should use at least one kind of simplification (classification or generalization) or analysis (clustering, proximity, autocorrelation, or correlation) that we have talked about in class.

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Here are some online examples and places to look, but you are strongly encouraged to find your own – you can also scan a printed map or take a picture of a map that you see while out and about.

· Strange Maps. A blog on unusual maps
· Worldmapper. A site for mapping the world in interesting ways.
· World Resources Institute

Part 1: Find and post a map along with answers to four questions

Once you have found a map you like, upload an image of it and answer some questions about the map.
Take a screenshot of the map and save it as an image to your desktop or other place on your computer. Upload this image to the “Activity: Maps in the wild discussion forum” link in Canvas. See below for details on uploading an image.
In addition to uploading an image of your map, answer the following questions about the map. Your post should be at least 150 words and address the following questions:

Map purpose. What is the main purpose of this map?
Approaches. Which analytical approaches covered in class are used in this map?
Things done well. What is one thing you like about the way this map was made? Focus on map design principles, symbolization, simplification, or analysis.
Things to change. What is one improvement you would suggest for this map?

Use the following headings in Canvas when answering the above questions in the forum:

Map purpose:
Thing done well:
Thing to change:


Review your post before you post it and then again once it is in the forum. In particular, make sure that the map image you uploaded looks the way you think it should.
Perhaps most importantly, do not paste a link to the image into your post in lieu of inserting the image via the forum. Doing so runs the risk of having the source website change in the meantime, which is very common with web mapping sites that have dynamic content.
Be sure that you clean up your screenshot image a bit by cropping and resizing. Follow the directions in the “Maps in Assignments” guide on the course Canvas site for information on cleaning up and formatting your image. It should look professional, but does not need a separately prepared legend like lab maps do.
Please post your map by the end of Thursday in order to give others a chance to respond.

Part 2: Respond to another post

After you have posted your map online, find one other post from a classmate that you think is interesting and respond briefly to their analysis of the map. Your response should be at least thirty words long and focus on pointing out another interesting feature of the map they posted, or suggest a further improvement to the map. There are no strict rules here, but your post should demonstrate thought and consideration, and not simply repeat or affirm what the other person has said.

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