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”.

DIY Aerial Photography and Edgar Allan Poe

Earlier this year Professor Megan Marlatt from the University of Virginia McIntire Department of Art began work with her students to create a jumbo outdoor mural titled “Hello Pluto, Good-bye Kitty” based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Black Cat“.   The mural design covered a large suburban parking lot. From street level, viewers see…. Continue reading “DIY Aerial Photography and Edgar Allan Poe”.

Spatial In the Scholars’ Lab: Spring 2012

With classes over and finals behind us, let’s look back on the Spring 2012 semester with a spatial eye.  Yes, January-May was a very mappy time in the Scholars’ Lab! Workshops From January through April twice every week my colleague Chris Gist and I welcomed faculty, staff, and students to our free “no experience required”…. Continue reading “Spatial In the Scholars’ Lab: Spring 2012”.

Mapping the Catalogue of Ships

I’m very pleased to share a guest post by UVa Classics professor Jenny Strauss Clay, describing a new project we’ve undertaken at the Scholars’ Lab. We’re excited not only at the opportunity to use GIS techniques to test Professor Clay’s theories about the relation of ancient geography to mnemonic devices and poetic form, but also…. Continue reading “Mapping the Catalogue of Ships”.

Projection Lessons in Maps

For many years, I have used the following map in my presentations. This map is a great example of proportional symbology and is of an interesting subject, especially when juxtaposed with modern oil trading.  Of course, the cartographic style is great too.  I hadn’t much thought of the cartographer or why the map was created until recently.…. Continue reading “Projection Lessons in Maps”.

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”.

Mapping the Earthquake

One good thing about living in this age is instant access to information.  What could be better than that?  Maps! The USGS has up-to-the-minute maps for earthquakes all over the world.  For the latest Virginia events click here.  You can find their main earthquake page here. The USGS also has a crowd-sourced program – called Do You…. Continue reading “Mapping the Earthquake”.

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”.

project launch: “Spatial Humanities!”

Over the past two years, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library has hosted an Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship. Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of “Spatial Humanities,” a community-driven resource for place-based digital scholarship: This site responds to needs…. Continue reading “project launch: “Spatial Humanities!””.