GEOG205 Winter 2024 Map Project (25%)

  • The project outline is completely open if you have specific ideas of your own.
  • The purpose is to create a map of your choosing from data import to finish.
  • Use this chance to make a map to show an area / theme that is useful or meaningful to you …. or an area relevant to another course. You can use lab assignments as simpler ‘models’ of the type of map you might produce: 1. Location, 2. Thematic, 3. Topographic; check the examples of some previous project maps (lecture ‘Projects’)
  • Final product is a tabloid (11 x 17″) size map, submitted along with a 1-2 page description / rationale behind your area and design – why you chose this area, what you are showing, and your selected design principles.
  • This map should embody the principles and processes learned during the course. Do NOT use any rasterized vector map as background in your final output. It IS OK to include a raster layer e.g. world hillshade but not a world topographic map.
  • You should endeavour to access and assemble the data you need in this first week’s lab time … confer with your TA as needed. Finding the data is a major component.
  • Fill in the proposal form on Moodle – worth 1% of the total

Template: A good general starting point if you don’t have specific ideas is:

Pick a town/city and suitable data layers – at least 4-5 e.g. roads, rivers, elevation, trails, points

Municipal data for many towns/cities across Canada

This lists multiple data sources by province / territory. A good option is to pick a municipal area, e.g. BC has 25 listed; neighbour Alberta has ~20, but sadly not for Jasper. Each site has a mix of topographic and thematic data layers, though not usually data for quantitative mapping.

Canada non-municipal topographic data (rural areas)

Our federal topographic data is at:

You can define your AOI (area of interest) and download vectors and DEM.

Thematic data (quantitative data)

Too many options to list – you mainly need a dataset with x,y coordinates, or where they can easily be added. One possible data source is the Esri Living Atlas:

First steps

1. Which map type: Location, Thematic or Topographic ?

2. Geographic area: BC, Other province, other countries ?

3. Scale: Municipal, Local, Regional, National, Global ?

4. Goal:  collect data March 11-15, design Mar 18-22, output Mar 25-28, report April 2-5

5. Submit your plans/proposal via the form on Moodle – worth 1% of total grade

Follow the suggestion above using the selection of a municipal site, if you don’t have more specific thoughts. But maybe you have specific interests e.g recreational where you can identify base layers e.g. roads, relief, lakes and download / add trails or climbing routes from sites such as All-Trails and equivalent for climbing.

Take some time in “lab 9” to see what you can find and check with your TA on whether this seems adequate – sometimes the data are not easily accessible, and sometimes they are …

Selected data links:

Canada – all map NTDB vector layers at 1:50,000 – see open Canada data link

BC / Canada cities – all city layers including DEM, contours and vectors

BC – Vegetation resource inventory (VRI) – sadly not easy to extract data

Census Canada:  (can be hard to work with!)

Other – the list could be endless .. you are not limited by the above

See for example:

Report:  5%    1-2 pages 1.5 spacing suggested

  • 1% for proposal
  • Rationale for choice of area and map type
  • Brief summary of layers used and source
  • What we are looking at on display; design principles – what you tried to show
  • Properly written, not an essay, but avoiding typos and poor grammar

Map: 20% …  5% for each of these items: – see the last page for more detail

  • Symbolization,
  • lettering,
  • ancillary information,
  • complexity – overall layout

– see next page for more detail

GEOG205 Winter 2024 (25%) Map project evaluation = 5% for each section

  • Report: 1-2 pages 1.5 spacing suggested

Text description / rationale: well written, avoid typing/grammar errors; proposal 1%

Clarity of why you chose this area and topic (map type) – interest and initiative

Brief summary of data used and their source (no need for ‘from the GIS Lab’)

Display and Design principles -what you have tried to show

[Description of any data processing -if you had to do more than just input layers]

  • Symbolisation

Are the symbols suitably designed – colours, size, pattern, shape  etc..

Consider each of points, lines, and areas

Is there sufficient contrast and none are overwhelming ?

Are the data suitable resolution for the mapping scale selected

Is anything missing – layers or features ?

  • Lettering

Are the lettering types suitable – font, size etc.. (e.g. italics for water)

Do they contrast between classes and stay consistent within classes

Are they positioned according to the general rules e.g. river names above/along lines

Points horizontal where possible, and clearly linked to their point symbols

Areas oriented to reflect the area, possible spread out

Should be minimum ~10 labels applied; check also legend / title- lettering choices

  • Ancillary information

Is title suitable – concise but complete; clear but not overwhelming, no word ‘Map’ ?

Scale bar – simple numbers ? Good size/ subdivisions

Legend – only include required items / modest size – not dominant;

Data sources given for thematic and specific layers (not general layers)

North arrow not always required, but if used, is it correct ? 

Neatline and locator map IF needed.

  • Overall Layout and complexity

Is the page area well used – limited white space

Placement of ancillary items in suitable locations – and subordinate to the map content

Attention to figure-ground / visual hierarchy – layers as background and foreground

Overall balance and general appeal – does the map presentation attract the user

Is it reasonably complex (but not cluttered), and interesting topic ?

Categories: GEOG 205Labs