Upcoming map competitions

Students – now that you are finished with your final GIS projects (you are finished, right?) why not submit them to one of these upcoming competitions. Bucknell students have won awards in other map competitions – let’s do it again:

1. 2011 National Council for Geographic Information (NCGE) Conference & Map Gallery:

The 2011 NCGE Map Gallery Committee invites you to submit a map for display during the 2011 Conference.  All GIS maps are welcome.  The maps will be judged by a panel of peers, with the exception of the People’s Choice Award, which will be voted on by the Conference attendees.  The Map Contest will feature two award categories and the winners will be announced at the closing session on Saturday, August 6, 2011.  Please review the minimum requirements and categories carefully when designing the content of your map entry.

Best Cartographic Design (Higher Ed., K-12 & People’s Choice) – Awarded to the map that artistically employs the elements of cartography without compromising use and functionality. Maps will be judged on fundamental cartographic principles including figure ground representations, visual hierarchy, color selection, typography, symbology, overall aesthetic appearance, etc.

Best Analysis (Higher Ed., K-12 & People’s Choice) – Awarded to the map that is best designed to display the results of spatial data analysis and presents the information in an unbiased way, allowing the viewer to extract their own conclusions, utilizing the map as a tool.

For guidelines & to submit maps, click here.

2. ESRI’s ‘Storytelling with Maps’ Competition.

Every map tells a story. Share your most interesting web map or mobile app in our Storytelling with Maps Contest. Entries will be judged on how well they make the subject matter interesting, understandable, and engaging. Web map and mobile app entries can be submitted April 29 – June 10, 2011. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each category. Winners will be announced in July at the 2011 Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California.

For guidelines and to submit web map or mobile apps, click here.

Uncovering the ‘Stories of the Susquehanna’ using GIS

Bucknell faculty have long had an interest in grounding their research efforts locally – using the physical, cultural, historical and sociological landscapes of the Susquehanna Valley region as a living laboratory. The two videos below feature Prof. Katherine Faull and student Emily Bitely ’11 talking about the role of GIS in two such projects – the Stories of the Susquehanna, and the John Smith Trail Extension project (both multi-year, inter-disciplinary projects involving faculty from across the campus).

Katie Faull discussing her use of GIS for the John Smith Trail Extension and Stories of the Susquehanna project:

Emily Bitely ’11 discussing her use of GIS for the same projects:

More about the John Smith Trail:

  • To learn more about the John Smith Trail, click here or here.
  • To view a National Geographic map detailing Captain John Smith’s voyage, click here.
  • To view a map of interpretive ‘smart’ buoys located in the river, click here.

More about the Stories of the Susquehanna project:

  • A pilot web mapping application featuring two of the ‘Stories of the Susquehanna’ is scheduled to launch this fall.  Stay tuned for more details.
  • Click here to read about the 2010 Susquehanna Valley Summer Writer’s Institute (SVSWI).  The SVSWI project is related to the Stories of the Susquehanna both in the type of local stories it explores and in its use of maps, audio, video, images and text to reflect on those stories in an interactive digital story-telling environment.
  • Click here to view the SVSWI’s interactive mapping application featuring students’ reflections on the impact of the Marcellus Shale gas boom on different populations in the Susquehanna Valley region.

Digital Gazetteer of the Song Dynasty

There are a million reasons I can think of for wanting to be in Santa Barbara, CA this week but one of them is that I’d love to attend UC Santa Barbara’s ‘Think Spatial’ forum. This week’s presentation features Ruth Mostern from UC Merced discussing her use of Google Earth for teaching undergraduate history courses. In Mostern’s upper division history course about the Silk Road, students read travel narratives and then use Google Earth to create digital atlases about their travelers’ journeys.  Here’s a short video that showcases some of her students’ work:

Mostern also makes extensive use of GIS in her research and is co-author of the Digital Gazetteer of the Song Dynasty. The website includes maps and downloadable data for counties and prefectures of the Song Dynasty. A sample map from the gazetteer is shown below.

“This map depicts the ratio of cantons to counties based on the data in the Song history. There is no county-level population data for the Song. The number of cantons in a county is the best proxy for its population. Red areas have a large number of cantons, and blue areas have a small number.”

Ask the expert: Katie Faull on maps, Moravian diaries and Native American history

In the BU homepage’s February ‘Ask the Expert’ interview, Prof. Katie Faull discusses her research on the 18th Century Moravian settlers and Native Americans who inhabited the Susquehanna watershed region. With the help of her research assistant, Emily Bitely ’11, Prof. Faull has made extensive use of GIS in reconstructing 18th Century landscapes of the Susquehanna.  Read the interview here.

Sample map constructed from witness tree markers and georeferenced historic maps:

Sample map showing locations of Native American sites, trails and sacred places in relation to Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

Tour the front lines of the Marcellus Shale boom with students from the Susquehanna Valley Summer Writer’s Institute

In Summer 2010, a team of five Bucknell undergrads participated in the Susquehanna Valley Summer Writer’s Institute with the goal of collecting and reporting stories of how the Marcellus Shale gas-drilling boom is transforming communities and cultural landscapes. Given how central geography is to the story of the Marcellus Shale boom, it was quickly agreed that the most powerful way to share this work would be through embedding the emerging, evolving stories into a clickable, interactive map – giving users the ability to interactively explore and engage with the material.  The map for the Summer 2010 project was built using the Google Maps API but plans are underway to implement ArcGIS Server technology to add additional functionality and interactivity.  Thanks to Mike Weaver from ITEC for his work in building the Google Maps site!