GEOG 486
Cartography and Visualization

Writing the Project Proposal


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:

  • the map topic (and the reason you selected it)
  • the intended audience,
  • the data variables you envision mapping
  • data sources (and if data has been acquired)
  • the type of map representation you envision using (e.g. multivariate point symbols, choropleth, dot density, etc)

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:

  • Can you visualize the map that is being proposed?
  • Does the map's prupose seem logical?
  • Is the map's purpose clear?
  • What data will be used to communicate the map's purpose to the map readers?
  • Why is the chosen data relevant/important?
  • How will the map going to communicate the data? 

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.