Fall 2022

GR 220 Mapping, Cartography, and Spatial Thinking [CRN 74050]

Overview of Course

This course offers an in-depth examination of how maps provide spatial perspective and shape the way we think about the world. While we often think of maps as just showing where a place is (general reference maps), maps also tell stories about places (population distributions, voting patterns, diseases, vegetation, urbanization, and the list goes on). Learning the “language of maps” has applications for students from all disciplines (ranging from anthropology, biology, business, environmental science, geography, geology, history, political science, public health, to sociology). We will examine the science and art of making maps, how to read them, how to analyze data, and use techniques to visualize spatial patterns. We will study the history and influence of maps and mapmakers from the ancient world to the high-tech images of today and modern geographic information science (GIS). The course uses a combination of lectures, readings, fieldwork, and assignments, many of which are linked to the places we will visit during the voyage, to teach students how to create, use, and understand maps and spatial data.