GEOGRAPHY 167 - Spring 2003 - ClassWeb - Registrar

Computational Cartography
Thinking with Maps and Spatial Visualizations

last year's syllabus will give you a good idea
of the material we will cover...

Tu/Th 10:00 until 1:00. 6 units. CLICC PC Classroom A (Powell 307). Enrollment cap = 14.

Nicholas Gessler - - Office hours after class.

We take a critical look at the cultural technology that facilitates our understanding and control of spatial processes as we move from the static medium of paper to the dynamic medium of computation. Maps and diagrams are ways of knowing the world around us, and as such they change, and are changed by, the cultural material processes of production, distribution, usage and obsolescence, and the larger system of distributed cultural cognition of which they are a part. What maps purport to represent, and what they quietly erase, sweep from abstract concepts across emotional terrains, to workplace, architectural and geographic places. Some fade as quickly as inked sketches on cocktail napkins while others persist as artworks in museum galleries. From the microscopic genome to the expanses of the cosmos, from Napoleon's historically ill-fated march on Moscow, to the history of the Earth, maps open windows onto what is otherwise too small, too large, too quick, or too slow to fathom. They chart ever-changing human situations, from secret silk escape maps sewn in jackets, to war room operation theatres, and to control centers managing space, air and automotive traffic. Wherever dynamic spatial processes are monitored, they involve responses with varying degrees of human intervention. The course will include writing graphical interactive simulations in Borland C++ for Windows PCs, field trips and projects involving instruments, including GPS. Participants are expected to join discussions and give presentations. No previous programming experience is required. There are no prerequisites.


Eight weekly challenges (5% each).
Mini-Reports, presentations, discussions and classroom attendance (3 absences are permitted with no penalty).
One final project and class presentation on a mapping practice that interests you.
Total possible points.

On the First Day of Class Please Bring:

Recommended Books (On Reserve):

Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte 1990
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte 1992
Visual Explanations : Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward R. Tufte 1997

Martin Dodge & Rob Kitchin
List Price = 39.99 = $27.99 plus shipping and handling
available from instructor = $28.00