Geography 360 Learning Objectives – Review 1


1M. Course Introduction and Overview

1M1. What is this course about?

1M2. What is the teaching –learning style (i.e., pedagogy) underpinning this course?

1M3. What are three realms of representation and how would you describe them?

1M4. What are the three information technologies underlying GIS to support geographic inquiry and how would you describe them?

1M5.  How can GIS assist geographers with their work of geographic inquiry?

1M6. Why do cartography and sustainability make for a good combination to learn?


1W. Geographic Concepts for Sustainability - Indicators and Data Measurement

1W1. Why has the instructor chosen to use “sustainability” as a topic that weaves through a course on GIS mapping? What is the DPSIR framework for understanding sustainability? What is the framework for sustainable development from Our Common Journey?

1W2 What geographic concepts from Dent can help us describe phenomena (entities) and relationships? How are those concepts used to describe “sustainability”?

1W3 What are the three fundamental aspects of geographic data and how would you describe them?

1W4 What is a “sustainability indicator”?  How can a sustainability indicator be depicted?


1F. Spatial Data Coordinates and Map Projections

1F1.  How does the surface of the earth differ from the surface of a globe? When the earth’s surface is measured geometrically to construct a surface, what three types of “oids” are used to provide different levels of “surface geometry” detail? 

1F2. What three dimensions can be used to measure location on the surface of the earth? 

1F3. How does a map projection relate to a map transformation?

1F4. What are the properties (i.e., the characteristics by which we describe) map projections?


2M Dot Maps - – Using a critical inquiry framework for GIS use

2M1. What is the nature of the geographical problem topic to be addressed in the project 2 assignment?

2M2. What geographical questions are you confronted with?

2M3. What issues should you consider when obtaining data to address the topic?

2M4. How might you manipulate data to prepare it for display?

2M5. What data and symbolization design decisions influence display?

2M6. What is the message in the dot map? Why are dot maps easy to interpret?


2W. Data, Information, and Knowledge for Sustainability Mapping

2W1. What are three fundamental aspects of geographic data used in creating geographic information?

2W2. What are some common ways to measure phenomenon as a basis for indicators?

2W3 Why is it useful to distinguish among data, information, evidence, and knowledge for mapping?


2F Class Discussion and a 5 minute essay: GIS and Map Projections

2F1. Maps help externalize thoughts and promote discussion about important geographic concerns.  When does it matter what kind of map projection is used as the underlying geometric framework of a dot map depicting population by country? Consider the kinds of distortion that could appear in a map projection.

2F2. Relationships between/among phenomena are very important when we try to understand issues of sustainability. What can be said about locational relationships between two data sets, each depicted on a map constructed from a different projection?  How do you bring two maps into spatial registration if you want to compare the information on the basis of location?

2F3. Sustainability is often thought of as a concern that pits population against resources or ecological quality. Discuss whether you agree or disagree, and consider how map representations can influence the nature of the argument to be made.


3M. Data Classification for Choropleth Maps

3M1 How does cartographic abstraction differ from cartographic generalization?

3M2 What are five methods for cartographic generalization that apply to all mapping?

3M3 What are some popular techniques of attribute data classification? How do you implement them?

3M4 Indicators and indexes – what’s the difference?

3M5 Benchmarks and Thresholds in relation to indicators – what’s the difference?


3W. Fundamentals of Map Design – Choropleth Maps as an example

3W1. Why are choropleth maps so popular?

3W2. What are design fundamentals for a choropleth map?

3W3. Why is legend design important for choropleth maps?

3W4. What are the general principles of map design as relevant to choropleth map design?


3F. Sustainability Indicators and Choropleth Map Design

3F1. What information do we gain by classifying attribute data, although the attribute data might be measured at a ratio level?  How does data classification simultaneously create and destroy the opportunity to gain information?

3F2. Which of the four data classification techniques is the better technique to use for a map of the human development index (or one of its components)?  Why?

3F3. Visual contrast, visual balance, and figure-ground are all important aspects of choropleth map design.  How can they be used to express a visual hierarchy for a choropleth map of the human development index (or one of its components)? How is the visual hierarchy on the HDI map related to your intellectual hierarchy on the map?


4M. Graduated/Proportional Symbol Mapping

4M1. What is graduated/proportional symbol mapping and what is it used for?

4M2. What challenges are associated with constructing graduated symbol maps?

4M3. What are some design considerations in graduated symbol mapping?

4M4. What are some principles for legend construction?


4W. The Symbolization Challenge in Map Design

4W1 What are some of the challenges for selecting symbolization in map design?

4W2 What are the graphical (visual) variables (cues) used in map symbolization?

4W3 What are symbolization strategies that use some combination of data type, data measurement, and visual variable?

4W4 How do we put graphic variables to work?


4F. Understanding Color Use and Misuse in Mapping

4F1. What are the three components of color for GIS mapping?

4F2 What are color models?

4F3 How should we use color components in map design?


5M Typography

5M1. What are the major uses of map lettering?

5M2. What are the basic functions of map lettering? 

5M3. What constitutes a typeface design?

5M4. What makes type readable?

5M5. What are some of the type placement guidelines?


5W Challenges in Map Symbolization as Part of Map Design

5W1. Based on the maps you have designed and constructed (i.e. dot map, choropleth map, and proportional symbol map) discuss which of the graphical (visual) variables is/are most useful for what data measurement scale?  You can use your book and notes, of course.

5W2. Why do you think those graphical variable(s) are useful in that map design context? 

5W3. How might this knowledge about the correspondence between graphical variable and data measurement scale be useful when choosing symbolization for sustainability indicators? Why? Note: Make sure you understand the concept of "indicator" relative to "attribute" (any measured variable).


5F. Flow Maps

5F1 What are some sustainability issues of concern for linear-oriented features?

5F2 What is the purpose of a flow map in terms of the type of flow?

5F3 How do levels of measurement influence the flow map design?

5F4 How do we design and construct flow maps?