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Maps and Mapping at University

How to produce maps suitable for student presentations and reports

Richard Treves

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of Maps and Mapping at University

Maps and Mapping at University - Digimap, Google Earth
Richard Treves

How we used to Make Maps
Maps as Art
Practical Web Maps
Dynamic (Base + Layers)
Medieval maps combined a lot of information that currently we wouldn't think to go on a map. They mixed in religion (in this map Gog and Magog are two monsters marked, waiting to be released at the end of the world) with spatial information.

Jerusalem was usually at the center of the map and it faced east rather than north, hence orientation - literally facing towards the Orient.

On the edges of the map you have weird creatures and races that were meant to live there.

Further reading/Viewing:
Maps for Power and Plunder was a TV mini series with video clips on history of maps http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s5m7w
On the map is a light book on history of maps http://www.simongarfield.com/pages/books/on_the_map.htm
Everything is somewhere and place is a key concept in all sorts of human life so its unsurprising that artists have been fascinated with maps throughout history. However, cartographers themselves have always lent towards appreciating the art of maps too.

Further reading/Viewing:
Axis maps writes a blog post on this subject http://www.axismaps.com/blog/2012/10/the-aesthetician-and-the-cartographer/
Stamen maps are a very famous company of map makers and have released water colour maps, here's Southampton http://maps.stamen.com/watercolor/#14/50.9326/-1.3951
Flowingdata.com has a lot of maps that are often more attractive than they are useful.
FixMyStreet is a great example of how the web can really affect our democracy. When a problem is flagged, not only does it make it easy for the council to fix but everyone's complaints are visible - councils can no longer 'hide' the effeciency with which they are spending our council tax to upkeep the local infrastructure and environment.

In effect its a 'map wiki', everyone can update the situation in their area. Other famous map wikis include the way information on damage after the Haiti earthquake was processed by volunteers in developed countries and fed back to the agencies on the ground in Haiti.

Further reading/Viewing:
Video about the Haiti mapping wiki
MySociety.org who own FixMyStreet also run FixMyTransport in a similar way. http://www.mysociety.org/projects/fixmytransport/
Simple, static (as in not interactive) maps still have great relevancy today as interactivity is tricky to deliver without being confusing. GIS is about data processing but this kind of simple map is still needed and there are lots of useful tools to help in making them. If you're interested this 'advice to a would be interactive map maker was well put:

Further reading/Viewing:
Base Maps
and Layers
What Use Could you use these images for that could it *not* be done with an OS map (thematic) map?
Remotely Sensed Data
Thematic Data
Advantage of Thematic Data vs Remotely sensed data for a base map?
Mapping Systems
GIS is about analysis, in this example we have taken point data of earthquake occurrences in the UK and converted them into a density map. A more complex analysis would be to combine this data with the locations of motorway bridges to get an idea of which bridges were in most danger of earthquake damage. (in fact, in the UK this is a negligible risk but in developing countries in earthquake zones such as Haiti, it could be very useful to do so).

However, lots of map making doesn't require analysis at all, you can see useful patterns just by plotting data. This is what we're covering in this lecture.
Thematic data is simpler visually, you can plot a lot of different layers on the map without it looking a mess.
The map on the left is a 3D Google Earth image - you could use it to show the shape of Lulworth cove that is more difficult with an OS map.

The one on the right is a Google Map of the New Forest and can be used to show soil erosion - this would not appear on an OS map
Poor at High zooms, good at low zooms
Can add annotations, save in cloud
Print out PDFs
OS maps are what lecturers' expect? - User First!
Also Search by postcode
Help is your friend
Base = Google Maps, good 'greyed out' map option
Pulls in thematic data, e.g. % labour votes
Pulls in OpenStreetMap data e.g. Waitrose stores
Simple markers as per Digimap
Google Earth
Base = Google Maps + 3D
Excellent search
Bring in maps from other systems as overlays
Lots of great data search xxx + .kmz to find
Annotations saved locally
Streetview (in GMaps too)
Google Earth Tours good for presentations
Digimap uses road maps when zoomed out that aren't that impressive - busy visually without showing much data. However, when zoomed in the maps improve as they switch to OS 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. These are high quality maps trusted by generations.

You can add annotations to the map and save them in the 'cloud' i.e. on OS server space rather than locally on your computer. To access your annotations again you have to log back in.

You can print to PDF when you've finished creating a map.

Its sensible to check with other lecturers what map system they prefer as a base map.

You can search by postcode to find an area on the map.

see help for other capabilities of the system.
Gemma uses Google as base data so you can have satellite (remote sensed data) or the standard google road map. It also has the option of a greyed out road map which is excellent for maps with lots of data showing or a base map to be imported into Google Earth.

With Gemma you can access thematic data such as labour votes by region in London. It pulls these in from another CASA service: maptube which is also worth looking at.

It also pulls in wiki place data that others have entered into OpenStreetMap. So you can search for waitrose stores and have these appear as dots.

It allows user generated annotations just as with digimap although much less sophisticated. You can print to PDF when you've finished creating a map.

Its a beta system which means you should not rely on it. If you lose data then no one will try to help you get it out again so be aware.
Google Earth effectively uses Google Maps as base data but drapes it over terrain data to create 3D topographic views. This isn't as useful as you might expect because it is visually busy and most maps are base maps which take other data layers put over them.

It has excellent search capabilities which is not surprising since it comes from Google. It can have a go at place names, post codes, grid refs and lat longs.

You can bring in maps from other systems as images (print screen then edit in image program) as overlays. On this you can then put annotations.

Searching on a topic in Google with '.kmz' as well often finds some great resources - similar to the Gemma system but less organised. There is also a wealth of information in the layers column.

A great benefit of Google Earth is that annotations and maps can all be saved locally. This allows for a lot of flexibility.

You also have access to streetview just as in Google Maps, drag the orange man from the control stem.

You can also create Google Earth tours which are excellent for presentations.
GE Base Map Overlays
Google Earth
No Headless men, No art
GIS = analysis
Analysis not necessary for useful map
Base map choice important
3 ways of producing maps
Need to follow up and practise!

Prezi allows quick search (amongst other advantages)
User (you!) first

Practical Design Skills for Maps and Presentations
[Communicating with Web Maps]
More Info
Interested? Email rwt@soton.ac.uk
Student Views
Prezi HowTo
Mind Map, up to down, left to right
Links to follow (underline)
Extra info small and right
Scribble arrows, text as mind map
In my course!
"easily the most detailed feedback I've received at university"

"I found Richard very enthusiastic and this wore off onto the class"

Overall rating of module: 4/5
Zoom Layers
Open Space: rights issue Google, OS mapping
Open Data: download GIS, .csv data
More Open GIS Data
Full transcript