Tuesday, May 2, 2017

GIS 3015 - Final Project

      Well, here is my final post for the Cartography Skills class. The main objective for the final was to recall the methods and techniques learned this semester to autonomously
outline and complete a cartographic analysis and design project.
      For the final project I had to pose as an employee of the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education. My task was to create a map for the Washington Post to go along with their article on high school seniors and college entrance scores. The map has to specifically show 2014 mean composite SAT Scores and students participation rates for the entire United States, including the District of Columbia. The mean composite score is determined by adding the 3 test score sections together. Those sections being Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. 

       I chose a combination of choropleth mapping and graduated symbology to display the two data sets on the map. The U,S, map was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau website and given that the data is compared by area, I chose to use the Albers Equal Area Conic projection. I transferred the data that we were given from a .pdf file to an Excel spreadsheet and added it to ArcMap. I used the Natural Breaks classification method to classify the mean composite score data into five classes.  This method provided enough data points in each break and kept similar values together. As you can see below, the Natural Breaks classification Method was also used on the graduated symbols.  

      Once all the data was classified, I utilize the Gestalt Principles to design my map in Ai. I applied contrast to create figure ground distinction used visual hierarchy to guide the user through the map. 

      Overall, I learned a lot about making maps this semester and I also really enjoyed this class. 

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