GIS Data Visualization
Geography 387

Meeting: TTh 1:30-2:45 in Physical Science Building 310
Instructor: Matthew McGranaghan (PSB 313 956-7092 matt@hawaii.edu)
Office hours: I'm generally around, make an appointment to be sure.

Catalog Description: Display techniques for statistical and terrain data. Cartographic communication models, data models, algorithms, and symbol conventions. Techniques for assessing map design.

Interpretation: GIS, the web, and inexpensive graphics-capable computers have brought rapidly changing ubiquitous animated cartography to the screens of the masses, and (I think) cartographic convention can still help! We will consider digital and graphic representations of spatial-temporal data and transformations from the former to the latter. We will undertake studio/laboratory exercises with ArcGIS (especially Tracking Analyst), Google Earth, HTML, KML, python, awk, HTML5/Canvas, SVG, JavaScript, and some support tools to explore cartographic communication. We'll consider and apply cartographic design guidelines to create (better) maps. The focus is on making and examining maps to convey intended meaning rather than on GIS analysis, though some of that may come in handy.

This term, I'd like us to consider the display of multi-dimensional data (perhaps including uncertainty), and to explore the possibilities and limitations that technology and human visual processing impose on it.

Readings: This term there is a required book: Cynthia Brewer's (2005) Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users and a suggested one: Michael Peterson's (2014) Mapping in the Cloud .

We will also use on-line reference materials, chapters, articles and books (see this list ) to set cartographic design and production in a longer context.

Grading: Grades will be based on completion and class presentation of approximately weekly mapping exercises (together 70%), a mid-term exam (essay format) (15%) and a term project (15%). Class participation and engagement are required. Each of these components must be completed to pass the course. The university policy on I-grades will hold. Labs will be graded for demonstrating that you have experimented with and mastered the programs and associated concepts from lecture and reading materials.