Cartography and Visualization

multiple maps

Maps by Pxhere is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Maps are powerful visual tools, both for communicating ideas and for facilitating data exploration. In GEOG 486: Cartography and Visualization, you will learn design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools, including ArcGIS Pro. In this lab-focused course, you’ll apply cartographic theory to practical problems, with a focus on design decisions such as selecting visual variables, classifying and generalizing data, applying principles of color and contrast, and choosing projections for maps. You will also be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualizations and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Successful completion of this course will signify mastery in map production for communication and research; you will be practiced in making, analyzing, critiquing, and sharing high-quality maps.

Course Number

GEOG 486


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Online Resource

View the entire resource online here: Cartography and Visualization

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Harrison Cole

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I hold a PhD in Geography from Penn State, where I conducted my dissertation research on designing tactile maps for blind and low vision users. In a professional capacity, I have created maps for a diverse range of clients and venues, including books published by Stanford University Press and The University of Chicago press, academic research articles, conference presentations, grant applications, and compliance reports.

Topical interests include biogeography, movement ecology, ornithology, logistics, virtual and augmented reality, mixed media maps, early digital cartography, and geospatial visualization in landscape architecture.

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Fritz Kessler

Fritz Kessler

I began my career in geography at Ohio University (a small state school located in Athens, OH) as a math major. During the summer between my junior and senior years, I took an elective course in physical geography. During the first day's lecture, the professor described "human" and "physical" as the two spheres of geography. He then added a side-bar comment that geographers also make maps. I was intrigued. After talking with the department's cartography professor later that day, I switched majors to geography - specializing in cartography. After graduation, I worked for the US Geological Survey (USGS) as a Cartographic Technician creating maps and illustrations for various USGS publications.

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Marcela Suárez

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Marcela Suárez is an instructor for GEOG 586: Geographic Information Analysis, GEOG 486: Cartography and Visualization, and GEOG 583: Geospatial System Analysis and Design. She is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Geography and the John A. Dutton Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence within the College of Earth & Mineral Sciences. Marcela's research interests lie at the intersection of Geographic Information Science, Cartography, and Emergency Management.

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Cary Anderson

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Hi everyone, my name is Cary Anderson and I am the instructor for this course. I am a graduate of Penn State myself – I completed my M.S. degree in Geography here in the resident program at University Park. My research interests are in how the design of maps and other visual graphics alters readers’ thoughts, behaviors, and decision-making processes. As you might imagine, I’m excited to be teaching this cartography and visualization course!

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