¶ Starting a Mapping Project

What Does is Mapping Project look like?

Mapping projects can be of all shapes and sizes, from the creation of a traditional figure with an explanatory legend and caption, such as might appear in an academic text, to an online interactive tool that allows for the searching or filtering of thousands of pieces of spatial data or hundreds of historical maps. They can combine different types of vector data representing real world features (e.g., points, lines, or polygons which can contain both spatial data and other qualitative or quantitative information) with raster (e.g., satellite imagery, elevation data, vegetation data, or a historical map).

Visualization, analysis, and storytelling are three of the most common goals for any mapping project, and they may be intertwined. Visualization focuses on the presentation of a collection of data, either through straightforward stylistic choices or through the ability to allow the user to filter datasets in some way. Spatial analysis is a process in which you model problems geographically, derive results by computer processing, and then explore and examine those results. Storytelling then combines the two, allowing the creator to present a cohesive narrative to their reader which is intrinsically tied to the data being presented at a particular moment.

Boston College Libraries Digital Scholarship Services

BC Libraries' Digital Scholarship Group facilitates, supports, and consults on mapping projects, as well as designs and provides mapping related in-class instruction and workshops. BC's Research Services also provides support as well as licenses for platforms like ArcGIS.

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