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mapping master index >Mapping Final Project

Mapping Final Project


bookProject Requirements


The purpose of this project is to investigate a data-backed inquiry question using data sets with spatial components and prepare clear and convincing visualizations (layout exports) to support conclusions.

inquiry question

Develop an inquiry question concerning a topic of professional or personal interest which concerns the spatial distribution of data points.

Post your question in our master tracker on the sheet called Final_Mapping_Proj

data layers

Your project should involve inclusion of multiple layers of data to investigate your inquiry question. Please be sure to include:

  • Data from the US Census or American Community Survey
  • Point, line, and polygon-encoded layer types
  • Data from a source that we did not use in our class projects.

project overview document

Compose a project plan using the editor of your choice. Eric recommends using a plain markdown file that you include in your git repo named readme.md

Use these headings as a guide in creating your overview document:

  • Abstract: About 250 words summarizing your goal, analysis steps, and conclusions. Hint: Write this last (but put it first)
  • Purpose/Inquiry Question: Succinct statement of research intent
  • Background/Rationale and sources: Why is your inquiry question important? To Whom? What kinds of decisions are you conclusions informing? Also include a list of data sources and literature related to your topic. 2-5 sources is likely sufficient.
  • Analysis Steps: High level List your overall project sequence, including data acquisition, analysis tools used (e.g. K-means clustering, point counts bounded by polygons, etc.) and presentation preparation. Imagine this list as part of a journal article--much more high level than your work process log.
  • Results and Discussion: Export nicely arranged map layouts and include them in this overview document. Each figure should be accompanied by a caption describing the important information to be gleaned from each figure.
  • Conclusions: State and support your conclusions based on the data presented in the results section.
  • Limitations: To what degree are the data and their associated conclusions valid in your project context? What data integrity/quality issues exist? Consider how the data was acquired, by whom, and for what purpose.
  • Future research: How could your project be continued? What additional data sets would be useful in additional analysis? What could you not complete that you might have wanted to and why?

work process log

Maintain a list of steps you undertook as you carried out your project. The target audience is first yourself in 5 years long after you've stopped thinking about your GIS project. What tools did you use? What were their exact input parameters? What styling configurations worked best?

Ideally your work process log is detailed enough that not just you but an objective reviewer could use to reproduce your project's entire analytic sequence, from data cleaning through analysis.

Include screen shots of tool configurations as needed. These can be worth their weight in gold if the tool is tricky to get configured correctly.

package and share

Bundle your project report, publicly sharable data sets, raw exports of your map layouts, and your work process log into a single git repository. Push that repository to a public facing git server and include a URL to the project root directory in our master tracker.