Plane Table Mapping aka Instant Gratification Mapping

“Plane table mapping is the most interesting of all to do.  One can hardly browse through an account of its various operations without wishing to go directly into the field and do them.” – Down To Earth : Mapping for Everybody, 1944 Humans love maps.  Every day in the Scholars’ Lab we help aspiring cartographers…. Continue reading “Plane Table Mapping aka Instant Gratification Mapping”.

Spring 2014 Scholars’ Lab GIS Workshop Series

All sessions are one hour and assume attendees have no previous experience using GIS.  Sessions will be hands-on with step-by-step tutorials with expert assistance.  All sessions will be taught on Wednesdays from 10AM to 11AM in the Alderman Electronic Classroom, ALD 421 (adjacent to the Scholars’ Lab) and are free to attend and are open…. Continue reading “Spring 2014 Scholars’ Lab GIS Workshop Series”.

Size Matters

In geography, size matters.  On maps, large always wins over small.  We’re human.  We’re wired to quickly spot patterns and make visual comparisons.  See Tufte, Edward. Picture a map of your own state.  How does it compare in size to the states next door, the largest states, the smallest, or Texas? I recently joined with…. Continue reading “Size Matters”.

The Mappy Goodness that is GIS Day in the Scholars’ Lab

Every November on the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week the world celebrates GIS Day.  On that day in Charlottesville the geospatial community gathers in the Scholars’ Lab for mappy goodness. And cake. In 2010 we threw open the Scholars’ Lab doors for folks to present geospatial lightning talks.  We were impressed by the breadth of…. Continue reading “The Mappy Goodness that is GIS Day in the Scholars’ Lab”.

Charlottesville’s Street Car System in GIS

Background Did you know that Charlottesville once had streetcars?  Since moving to town, I’ve heard tales of the once-thriving transportation system that connected Fry’s Spring, UVa and downtown.  It wasn’t until an inquiry came in from a student looking for GIS data for the system that I investigated it. I first found the following 1890 map which…. Continue reading “Charlottesville’s Street Car System in GIS”.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Mappiness

Mr. Jefferson ended his best-known sentence with “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”   The only thing missing was maps. In the Scholars’ Lab, we’re all about the spatial goodness.   Inspired by Kansas State University’s Seven Deadly Sins maps, we set about converting the qualities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness into…. Continue reading “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Mappiness”.

Mr. Voronoi, meet the US state boundaries

In the Scholars’ Lab we are working with remarkably detailed datasets showing changes to US political boundaries over time.  We’ve all been fascinated with visualizations where the familiar outlines of the US states emerge from thousands of boundary changes to their underlying counties over the last few hundred years.  Did you know Virginia once spanned…. Continue reading “Mr. Voronoi, meet the US state boundaries”.

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