The Capstone Project for this course challenges you to create a thematic map project that communicates two or more variables on a topic of your choice. Then working with peers, create critiques that, in turn, you use to revise your map project.
By the completion of this project, you should be able to:
For the context of this project, your data variables (in order to be considered as variables) should show at least one attribute that varies within the map. For example, I will not consider roads, streams or point locations of cities or buildings to be variables, unless they show varying attributes that are relevant to the thematic topic of the map. If the city symbols were sized according to population and relevant to the purpose of the map, they would qualify as a data variable. Otherwise I will just consider them a data layer or features on the map that are for reference. A map would also qualify as multivariate if you showed just one data layer with more than one varying attribute. For example, a map of census tracts that shows two attributes would be multivariate, e.g. income and cancer mortality. Depending on how you symbolize the census tracts, this would not only be a multivariate map, but a map using multivariate symbols.
None of these projects are perfect. They all have things that could be improved, but in general they are successful examples of illustrating a subject with more than one variable, and in different ways. If you have questions or comments about any of these project examples, would like more examples, or would like further feedback from me about these examples, please post in the Capstone Project discussion forum.
As you work through the course you will complete a few milestones related to the capstone project (see Checklist below for details).
Below are the milestones required to complete the capstone project. See course Calendar in Canvas for exact due dates. See the pages linked below for more details.
|1||Project proposal||Write a proposal for the course capstone project. See Writing the Project Proposal for directions.||At the end of Week 6|
|2||Submit two peer reviews of proposals||See Writing the Project Proposal for directions.||Sunday after proposals were turned in (middle of Week 7)|
|3||Screen capture of data||See Submitting the Screen Capture of Data for details.||At the end of Week 8|
|4||Submit complete draft of map for peer review||Complete a draft of your map. See Submitting a Draft for the Class for more details.||At the end of Week 9|
|5||Submit two peer reviews of draft projects||See Submitting a Draft for the Class for more details.||Friday after drafts were turned in (middle of Week 10)|
|6||Submit final revised project and write-up||Make improvements to your map project based on feedback from Week 9. See Submitting the Final Draft for more details.||At the end of Week 10|
The first task for the capstone project is to write a project proposal.
Picking a topic: The subject of the map can be anything, just so it is a multivariate thematic map. (Refer to the Overview page for more details of the project requirements). It is likely that the biggest limitation to picking your topic will be availability of data. I recommend that you know where you will get your data, or how you will create it by the time you write this project proposal.
Craft a proposal: In at least 200 words (although it can be longer), craft a proposal that discusses:
Assume that the proposal will be read by non-experts. In other words, include background and context information that will allow me to understand your idea. If you were inspired by other maps or images, you can include a copy or a link in your document.
Submit/Post: Post your proposal to the Capstone Proposal discussion forum in Canvas. Name your post with your last name, e.g. "<your last name>_<your first initial>_proposal".
Proposal Due Date: This proposal is due with the deliverables from Lesson 6. See the course Calendar tab in Canvas for the specific due date.
Peer Review: Please read and review the capstone project proposals of the student that comes before you AND after you alphabetically in the course roster. (The first and last person on the list should review each other's proposal for their 2nd peer review). The course roster is available via the People link in Canvas. Review the proposal and post a response in the discussion forum thread with thoughtful comments and questions for the student who wrote the proposal.
As you review the proposal, consider the following questions:
Peer Review Due Date: Your two peer reviews are due Saturday immediately following the due date for the proposal, i.e. after the Lesson 6 deliverables due date and before the Lesson 7 deliverables due date. See the course Calendar tab in Canvas for the specific date.
Please ask questions of the instructor if you are unsure how to proceed with writing your proposal or writing the peer reviews.
Take a screen capture of the data you plan to use for your capstone project loaded into ArcMap or ArcCatalog, and submit the image as an attachment to the Screen Capture of Data Assignment in Canvas (Capstone Project area). Symbolization does not have to be figured out, and layout does not have to be present. If you have multiple layers or files, make sure they are visible in ArcMap's table of contents panel or in the ArcCatalog's tree panel.
This is purely a step to make sure that your project idea is feasible, and you do not get stuck at the stage of acquiring data when you should be well into designing your map. There is no feedback on this mile marker assignment, but if you have questions, you can include notes in the message of the dropbox submission.
This mile marker assignment is due with the Lesson 8 project. See the Calendar in Canvas for the exact due date.
Feedback on cartographic work is very useful. For that reason I have introduced a peer review into the capstone project. I would like everyone to provide his/her map to the class for comments and suggestions. You will each do two peer reviews, and then each of you will use the reviews you received to revise your maps for final project submission.
This completed draft is due at the end of Tuesday for Week 9 (as if it were the Week 9 assignment). See the calendar in Canvas for the specific due date.
Submit the PNG image of your map via the Create Submission link at right (must be logged in to see link). Select Capstone Project Draft for Assignment Type
Enter name for Author
Enter title of map
Under Map Image File, browse for the PNG file version of your draft. Click Upload
Review the two peer maps assigned to you. Assigned maps are of the person who is before you AND the person who is after you on the class roster in Canvas. This way everyone will get two peer reviews. To write your review:
Click on the Title link that is above the map image when viewing the Map Gallery page for Capstone Drafts.
Write your peer review in the comment box. Specifically, I would like you to critically comment - in depth - to your peer about:
the reading of the map as a whole; discuss what is unclear or could be better communicated
the layout, visual hierarchy, figure-ground and/or the graphic design of the map
the representation and/or symbolization, e.g. do the visual variables fit with the logic of the data?
the labeling and typography, e.g. are text sizes consistent and logical for page and visual hierarchy?
other comments, thoughts, ideas, suggestions that might not be touched on in the above bullets
Look through other submitted Capstone Drafts, and comment with suggestions or compliments as much as you like or have time for. It is very useful and important to get outside feedback on a map. You can also ask questions for others about your own map, and reply to comments made by others on your own map. Use a critical eye when reviewing, but also please remember that we all have different levels of experience with cartography, the software, and the subject domain of these maps.
Congratulations! You have reached the final set of deliverables for this course - and, for some of you, the last step in the GIS Certificate Program. This week is dedicated to revising your capstone project based on peer reviews (and completing the peer reviews if you haven't already done so). Once your map project has been thoroughly reviewed by at least two peers, and the instructor, revise or rework your map accordingly. You may not take all ideas or recommendations for changes from reviewers, for example, if you do not have the data, or do not agree with the recommendations. In addition to completing the map, you are also asked to write a review of your own map for the capstone project. In this document discuss the decisions behind making your map, what you changed from the draft as a result of the peer reviews, or if you did not incorporate recommendations, the reasons why. Also discuss strengths and weaknesses of map, and how the project may be improved, e.g. with more time or better data.
The final capstone project is due at the conclusion of Week 10 and the course. See the Calendar in Canvas for the due date.
You have reached the end of the Capstone Project! Double-check the to-do list on the Capstone Project Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the tasks listed there.