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IELTS, ESP and CALL
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Making Sense of Maps

TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.

 

This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).

 

Tags: transportation, urban, mapping, cartography, planning, TED, video, unit 7 cities.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 3:42 PM
When trying to graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your particular audience, you will have a lot to take into consideration. How familiar are the travelers with the area you map out? Are there visuals to precisely mark on the map so that will they accurately correspond to the area?
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Digital Topographic Maps

Digital Topographic Maps | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it
Home page of USGS Topographic Maps...

 

The last paper editions of USGS topographic masp came out in 1973 and 1992.  If you are waiting for the next print edition, you'll be waiting a long time.  Like so many other agencies with information distribution, the USGS topo maps have gone digital.  In 2001 the USGS announced the production of a current, seamless digital National Map.  You can still quadrangle chunks of the National map and download them for free as PDFs (with geospatial extensions for measuring). 

 

Tags: mapping, cartography, geospatial.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 2, 2014 10:25 PM

The last paper editions of USGS topographic maps came out in 1973 and 1992.  If you are waiting for the next print edition, you'll be waiting a long time.  Like so many other agencies with information distribution, the USGS topo maps have gone digital.  In 2001 the USGS announced the production of a current, seamless digital National Map.  You can still quadrangle chunks of the National map and download them for free as PDFs (with geospatial extensions for measuring).   You can search for aerial imagery here.


Tags: mapping, cartography, geospatial.

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Where Does Your Water Come From?

Where Does Your Water Come From? | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it

This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive).  Most people can't answer this question.  A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it.  This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water.  This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.  

 

Tags: GIS, water, fluvial, environment, ESRI, pollution, development, consumption, resources, mapping, environment depend, cartography, geospatial. 


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Nic Hardisty's comment, October 15, 2012 9:01 AM
I was definitely unaware of where my drinking water came from. This is nice, user-friendly map... Hopefully it gets updated regularly, as it will be interesting to see how these sources change over time.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, July 1, 2013 3:55 PM

water is a resource we all depend on. Some of my best studies were on local Chesapeake Bay issues.

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MapMaker-National Geographic Education

MapMaker-National Geographic Education | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it
Customize one-page maps and download, email, print, or share!

 

Want to make a custom map don't have a cartographic background or access to GIS software?  This online program will give you what you need. 


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Mercator’s 500th birthday: ArcGIS Resource Center

Mercator’s 500th birthday: ArcGIS Resource Center | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it

While the web mapping world still relies too much on the Mercator projection for my preference, it is a testament to the enduring impact that his ideas have had in literally shaping our World.  When discussing map projections, this article has some valuable materials. 


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Paige T's comment, September 10, 2012 11:37 AM
This map may have some major distortion problems but Mercator found ways to "fix" this. Although the regions closer to the poles may be distorted, he spaced his lines accordingly in order to indicate to the viewer that there is distortion. Navigators have found this map very useful throughout the centuries because a straight line drawn on this map are lines of constant compass bearing.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 9:36 PM
This is another example of why people viewing a flat map, matted on a wall, are not getting exposure to an accurate model of measuring the world. I know when I was in public school, we were used to looking at mostly flat, wall maps. The curvature gives a person viewing this a great representation of the degrees in which these land masses are situated on the globe.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 11, 2013 7:55 AM

While the web mapping world still relies too much on the Mercator projection for my preference, it is a testament to the enduring impact that his ideas have had in literally shaping our World.  When discussing map projections, this article has some valuable materials.

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AFRITERRA: Mapping Africa

AFRITERRA: Mapping Africa | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it

"The AFRITERRA Foundation is a non-profit Cartographic Library and Archive assembling and preserving the original rare maps of Africa in a definitive place for education and interpretation.  This unique cartographic galleries links art, technology, and history."  The Afriterra Foundation connects people to the land, history, heritage and legacy of Africa.


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11 of the Most Influential Infographics of the 19th-Century...

11 of the Most Influential Infographics of the 19th-Century... | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it
We live in a world steeped in graphic information. From Google Maps and GIS to the proliferation of infographics and animated maps, visual data surrounds us.

While we may think of infographics as a relatively recent development to make sense of the immense amount of data available on the Web, they actually are rooted in the 19th century.

Two major developments led to a breakthrough in infographics: advances in lithography and chromolithography, which made it possible to experiment with different types of visual representations, and the availability of vast amounts of data, including from the American Census as well as natural scientists, who faced heaps of information about the natural world, such as daily readings of wind, rainfall, and temperature spanning decades.

But such data was really only useful to the extent that it could be rendered in visual form. And this is why innovation in cartography and graphic visualization mattered so greatly...


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The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine

The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it

The shape of a state can greatly impact the political cohesion of a country as well as it's economic viability.  While this is obviously a fictitious map, it draws our attention to the logistic difficulties that confront Palestine with the Israelis controlling crucial transportation access points and corridors.   

 

Questions to Ponder:  How is this a 'persuasive map?' What are some of the geographic impacts of this fragmentation on Palestine? For Israel?

 

Tags: cartography, MiddleEast, political, states, territoriality, unit 4 political.


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Melissa Burr's comment, October 10, 2012 10:13 AM
This map is persuasive because it does not show the usual Palestine. This map is fragmented and the geographic impacts it shows are the routes taken in at leisure for maritime activity and also shows the urban and popluated areas in the past and how how the sraelites impact those areas.
Matthew Jones's comment, October 10, 2012 10:16 AM
The reason this is a persuasive map in my opinion is that this map does a very good job of allowing the reader to understand the focus in which it intends to present. information key which it offers is crucial to the map b/ it help the reader better understand and analyze this map in its entirety. as far As the second question unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable as far as the impact his map as on palestiine or isreal.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 10, 2012 11:24 AM
This map is unique and not typical. The way that Palestine's land is severed and each transportation access point is clearly shown and highlighted, makes this map's data very persuasive and impactful. This map examines the Israelis' control of the land.
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Selecting a Map Projection

Selecting a Map Projection | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it
Video. Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement.

 

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and another situation where it is an incredibly limited perspective. 

 

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water. 


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United States MapMaker Kit

United States MapMaker Kit | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it
MapMaker Kit. Download, print, and assemble maps of the United States in a variety of sizes. The mega map occupies a large wall, or can be used on the floor.

 

Have you every wanted to create a giant map but aren't sure if you can logistically pull it off?  The National Geographic's MapMaker kit is just that, a kit for you to create wall maps from a standard printer and tile them together.  The assembly itself is a great spatial thinking and fun exercise for students (and there are large world maps as well). 

 

Tags: NationalGeographic, cartography, mapping, K12.


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Arezza Network's comment, October 19, 2012 9:20 AM
#Geography is key to shaping the #culture of a community
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xkcd: Map Projections

xkcd: Map Projections | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it

Geo-geek humor -- A cartoon strip on the projector in the 3 minutes before class can be a good thing.  I'm a Robinson. 


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 11:06 AM
I feel the Robinson map is a closest representation of the world that is translated onto a 2-D map. All of the land masses and oceans look to be accurate without flattening the map completely and still having a curvature to it; which is more of a representation of the globe.
Emily Bian's curator insight, September 28, 2014 8:36 PM

This cartoon strip shows the different types of map projections, and has a caption of what your personality is like if you like the map projection.

I thought this was really funny, especially the caption for the Peters Projection. I'm a Robinson for sure, because I just like the way it looks. I think all the different types of maps are good and useful in their own way, even the Peters... I guess...

We also learned all the different types of map projections in class, which helped me recognize these maps. This is also a humorous way for people who don't know the different map projections to learn it while still having a fun and good time. Maps are an important element in APHUG, because everyone should know how to read maps. It's part of Unit 1, because it shows the landmasses, and some maps can show different perspectives on things.

This quirky and humorous map will help the students in next year's APHUG class the different map projections, while having fun and finding out their personality that goes along with the different maps.

1) key geographical skills

Elle Reagan's curator insight, September 28, 2014 11:37 PM

This is a good overview of some different types of map projections and it has some humor too! I like how all the different types of map are all in one place. Also, each picture  is fairly detailed so that I can really see how one map is different from the next. I'm hoping this will be a good study tool in studying for the AP exam if there are any questions about different types of map projections.

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Early World Maps

Early World Maps | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it

I typically would not link to a Wikipedia article, but this one is not only well crafted, but represents an academic collaborative work in its own right.  This a fabulous cartographic gallery that explores the history of geographical thought through the ages (as archived in the earliest maps).  Enjoy the maps, and even more, the intellectual context that this article provides for each of these images.      


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Map as Art

Map as Art | IELTS, ESP and CALL | Scoop.it
There are many amazing examples of artists who turn to cartography and geography for inspiration. Whether through the lens of a camera, paint, ...

 

This series of cartographically-inspired art works changes how we look at maps.  Some of these artists also make us think of places that are on the Earth as explicitly "mappable" features.  I think the Google Maps push-pin in the city center is my favorite.  Which do you prefer? 

 

Tags: art, mapping, place, cartography. 


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GeoMapGames's curator insight, March 4, 2014 12:47 AM

Amazing map art! I like Google Maps push-pin in the city center :)
Which do you prefer?  #geomapgames