Tell A Story through Maps–a workshop

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IITS invites members of the Haverford community to a GIS workshop over break.

Wednesday, Jan. 17 and Thursday, Jan. 18
w/ optional supported workday Friday, Jan. 19
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
ITC (Stokes 205)
Email hc-techlearn to register

Have you ever wanted to map characters as they travel through a landscape in a novel? Look at how a natural disaster has affected a city? Visualize how characteristics of a neighborhood (demographics, home values, schools, transportation options) correspond with other variables like health, crime, or education levels?

You can make such maps relatively easily with today’s mapping tools. Haverford has a site license for one of the most popular GIS (Geographical Information Systems) mapping tools, ArcGIS. As part of this license, we have access to the paid version of ArcGIS Online. This tool is similar to Google Maps. However, it adds the ability to overlay data sets on an area and even do analysis on that data.

The tool is easy to learn. Faculty can use it themselves, or teach it to students for use in class projects. The tool is also great for staff looking at geographic data.

In Anne Montgomery’s Social Epidemiology class, students took a couple of class periods to learn how to use ArcGIS Online. Then they explored Social Epidemiology concepts using real data in Philadelphia. Groups of students mapped the relationship between different factors, such as gun violence, education, and income. For example, one group of students plotted the location of each homicide in Philadelphia during a given year, along with the locations for all the level one trauma centers in Philadelphia. Then they used the ArcGIS Online analysis feature to graphically show which homicides occured within a five minute drive to a trauma center.

Over two mornings, you will see examples of how ArcGIS Online can be used to illustrate geographical relationships. Then you will use those maps to create a narrative about their significance, using the related tool Story Map. After seeing how the tool works, you will define an issue you want to explore with maps, locate and map relevant data sets, and then use Story Map to communicate your findings over the web.

Participants are encouraged to bring an idea for a map project, along with data, photos, videos, research articles, or other materials relevant to that idea.

Day 1: ArcGIS Online

  • Overview of ArcGIS Online and sample maps created with this tool.
  • Shivani Parikh (HC ’20) will share her experience using ArcGIS Online as a student and show some of the maps she made
  • Using materials you brought to class, or sample materials provided in the workshop, identify something specific that you want to explore through mapping.
  • Create a map exploring your selected topic
    • Pick a base layer design
    • Add location markers
    • Add data layers from public data
    • Upload your own data set onto a map
    • Add map labels and legends explaining what your map shows

Day 2: Story Map

  • Introduction to Story Map
  • Understand map types available in Story Map (slider, tab, tour, etc.)
  • Select an appropriate map type for your content
  • Add a text narrative to one or more maps
  • Add sound, images, or video


Day 3 (optional):  Supported work time

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