When to Use an Interactive Map

Posted on Posted in Cartography, Data, Human Geography, Political Geography, WebMapping

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog article, “10 Maps that show how much time Americans spend grooming, eating, thinking, and praying”  presents some crisp maps using data from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey.   The article is an interesting introduction to regional geography, but it is  sometimes jarring to find a website presenting spatial information that lends itself to interactive mapping as analog maps. After spending a few seconds clicking and rolling over states before realizing the data I wanted was presented in a table at the end of the article, the analog maps raised the important cartographic question of when to use an interactive map.

Interactive maps have become such an ubiquitous method for visualizing complex spatial information that geospatial professionals sometimes don’t ask if an interactive maps is always the best one. An article in a 2013 Journal of Spatial Information Science by Robert E. Roth explores the question of “Interactive maps: What we know and what we need to know“. According to Roth, “Cartographic interaction is defined as the dialog between a human and map,mediated through a computing device, and is essential to the research into interactive cartography, geovisualization, and geovisual analytics”.

An article in Scientific America, “The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens” asks How exactly does the technology we use to read change the way we read? but it could also explain why we sometimes expect a static, analog map to be interactive.  

Cornell Lab of Ornithology YardMap beta

Posted on Posted in Data, Education, Environmental, general, Remote Sensing

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has introduced some very exciting backyard citizen science applications that utilize remote sensing data. One of them is The YardMap citizen science project funded by the National Science Foundation Information Education Program  or advancing informal STEM Learning (AISL), as it is known now. YardMap is designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments. It is also a great way to make your yard bird friendly.  So far they have had 8098 YardMaps drawn using the YardMap Tool.

 

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World Fish Migration Day 2014

Posted on Posted in general

Today is World Fish Migration Day 2014. It is a one day global initiative to create awareness of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish with over 70 organization supporters worldwide. It is also a very geospatial day because much of the outreach, education, and work being done is spatial.  If you want to find an event going on in your part of the world today, they have an event map of World Fish Migration Day activities. (more…)

DVR/TV reminder: NatGeo Bee

Posted on Posted in Events, GeographyAwareness

It is that time of the year again, time to sit back and watch some super-smart youngsters rock our collective Geography socks off. Thursday night the finals of the National Geographic Bee will be aired at 7:00PM EDT on the National Geographic Channel. This year Soledad O’Brien steps into the spot of long time host Alex Trebek.

Here is a look at this year’s state (and territory) winners who traveled to DC for this week’s event.

Geographic Education Town Hall

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Events

Geospatial Niagara will be hosting a Geographic Education Town Hall next week to highlight the St John’s Declaration. The declaration is intended to advance geographic education for Canadians and is a initiative that was announced last year at the CAG/RCGS joint meeting.

The town hall looks like a great opportunity for people on either side of the border near Niagara Falls (and of course St Catherines where it will actually take place) to get together to find out what the panelists think about the declaration, geography education, and the geospatial profession. While the declaration is a Canada specific initiative, it mirrors the on-going conversations about spatial literacy you can hear from geographers around the world. If you know of similar conversations that are bringing geography/geospatial education to the streets let us know! We want to know what works best for sharing our love of spatial beyond those already sitting in the pews, so to speak.
Click image for full poster.
GeoEd