Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

GR 220 Mapping, Cartography, and Spatial Thinking

Overview of Course

No matter what your chosen career, learning how to read and make maps is a fundamental, useful, and fun skill. Learning the “language of maps” has applications for students from all disciplines (ranging from anthropology, biology, business, environmental science, geography, geology, history, political science, public health, to sociology). This course offers a deep dive into how maps shape and tell stories about places. You will examine the science and art of making maps, how to read them, analyze their data, and use techniques to visualize spatial patterns. You will gain hands-on -experience using a free and open-source Geographic Information Science software (QGIS) to make maps. The course uses a combination of lectures, readings, fieldwork, and assignments, many of which are linked to the places we will visit during the voyage, to teach students how to create, use, and understand maps and spatial data.