This map making assignment asks you to You will create 3 Original Maps displaying Physical Geography data. You will choose Physical Geography data from your choice of several free online map making programs. The maps you create must be original, that is you just didn’t search Google images for maps already created by other people. You will be creating maps of areas that you choose, using data you choose, and you will format it with a scale bar, north arrow, title, and paragraph caption that are all original.
How will you make an original map set?
There are 4 steps to this part of the assignment:
- Choose Map Maker and Data: Choose a free map maker and play around with the available data. Decide which data you want to map. Try National Map, National Geographic Map Maker, (Links to an external site.) Google Earth (Links to an external site.)(free download), Weather Underground Mapper (Links to an external site.), ArcGIS Explorer (requires creating a free account) to get base maps and data, NOAA National Hazard Viewer (Links to an external site.), Historical Hurricane Tracker (Links to an external site.), Tornado History Project (Links to an external site.), Water Risk Atlas (Links to an external site.), and Windyty (Links to an external site.)
- Make 3 Original Maps (city, state & continent): Once you have chosen and selected data, look for patterns at local (1 city), regional (1 state or small country) and continent (1-2 continents) scales by zooming in and out. One map should show data at the local scale (shows 1 city), the 2nd map should zoom out to show a regional scale (shows 1 state or a small country), and finally your 3rd map should zoom out to continent scale (shows 1-2 continents).
- Write a Paragraph Caption for Each Map: For each of the 3 maps you should write a descriptive paragraph (5-10 sentences, college level writing) that explains the data pattern (Where is the data occurring and not occurring?), process (Why does the data occur some places but not others?), and any hazards the data may cause humans (How dangerous is this hazard? How could this hazard be managed?). Outside research should be conducted and cited.
- Add Final Touches to the Maps: Finally, you will capture an image of your completed map and data (or just a screen shot) and import it into a word processing program like word where you can add a scale bar (Links to an external site.), north arrow, legend and descriptive title, and should be be easy to see and read. In some tools such as the National Geographic Mapmaker, the scale bar shows up automatically. In others, you may need to draw it in. You may also need to draw in the north arrow.
- Submit: Your completed assignment (3 Maps, 3 descriptive paragraphs) should be submitted on ONE single .doc or .pdf
HERE ARE SOME POINTERS TO HELP YOU CREATE YOUR MAPS:
- Your map needs to be original, meaning you created it using an online tool where you chose the data to be mapped, the area and zoom level. You should not use an existing (e.g., jpg, png, gif) image of a map that has already been created by someone else.
- You need to do research to explain the patterns that you see. That is, you will need to discover the processes that create the map pattern. For example, if you see a line of volcanoes in the Pacific coast of Central America you will need to explain how the Cocos plate is subducting beneath the Caribbean plate in an oceanic-to-continental convergent plate boundary, how the sinking oceanic plate melts and rises, etc.
- All the information that you use in the descriptive paragraphs needs to be properly cited. It is best if you have a separate reference section at the end of your map set. You also need to cite the source or sources of your maps.
- Your maps need to have a scale bar, north arrow and descriptive title. A descriptive title is one that describes the area covered by the map and its content. “Regional map” is not a descriptive title, “Volcanoes on the Pacific coast of Central America” is.
- You need to describe the hazard patterns, process and proposed solutions. Describe the pattern you see in each map (e.g., Most tornadoes occur in the South and lower Midwest). Describe the process that causes this pattern (e.g, Clashes of cold and warm air masses, moist conditions, formation of thunderstorms, flat,open land, etc.). Describe proposed solutions (e.g., Practice a tornado drill, keep safety supplies, heed warnings, go to the basement, etc.). Again, you will need to do research and cite your sources.
- Make sure that each of your maps provides somewhat different information (different patterns and/or processes) so that you have something new to say for each of the different scales (zoom levels).
Here are some examples: