Geography 222 Maps and Mapping Geog 222 Main Page and Course Description Geog 222 Syllabus Geog 222 Course Schedule Geog 222 Exercises

Geog 222 Exercise 2: Finding 'Real' Maps

Revised: 2/6/14

ASSIGNED in class Friday February 7
DUE Wednesday February 19 at 9:00 am


Please review the Digital Submissions Guide and follow all it's brilliant suggestions for formatting your exercise.

1. Define your home for this exercise (and future exercises): (10 pts)

You will be collecting and creating a mess of maps and information about a particular place you are familiar with in this and future exercises: home. You can compare your personal knowledge of your home with the way the place is represented on maps, providing a bit more of a critical perspective on how maps show us some version of the world.

Some of you may not have been born and raised in the US. You can use your non-US home for many of the exercises, but will have to choose a second home in the US for a few exercises where we are using data only available for the US. Select a place in the US you have spent some time in, enough to know the area a bit. If you have not lived in any area of the US besides Delaware, you can consider Delaware your second home.

Even if you were born in the US, you may have moved around. Select one of these homes - the one you feel you know the best, or care about the most. It is important that you know something about the place you decide is your home for this exercise - it should not be a place you are completely unfamiliar with. Please talk to the instructor if you have any questions about defining your home!

2. USGS Topographic Maps of your Home on the WWW (15 pts)

WARNING: Many WWW map sites depend on sophisticated WWW technology that can be slow or break down. Expect delays and sites that are temporarily not working. You may also be using a computer or internet browser that is not compatible with a particular mapping WWW site. Be patient! If a site is not working, revisit it at a different time or use a different computer. Given such potential problems, please do not do the exercise at the last minute. Contact the instructor at least 48 hours before the due date if you are having persistent problems.

Over the past decade the USGS (United States Geologic Survey) has made an effort to make its detailed topographic maps of the US available in digital form. You can still order paper maps, but most are decades out of date. Instead of ordering a paper map (which we have done in the past in this class), you will download a series of digital topo maps, the most recent and also the oldest version available for the area around your home (as defined in the previous section).

You will save two or three high-rez topographic maps, so make sure you are working on a computer you can save files on, then upload to your shared folder in Drive.

Go to the USGS Store which is the WWW site where the US Geological Survey sells its maps. Use Firefox browser:

The two (or three) maps are in GeoPDF format, and you should be able to open and view with Adobe Reader or any other PDF reader. If you are having trouble with these files, please contact me ASAP.

Open and review the newer map. Find your home on the map - or as close to it as you can. If the map is older than the age of your house, it won't be on the map.

Open and review the older map. Again, find your home of the area where your home is today (recalling that you are looking at an old map).

Because the map files are very large, don't include them in their entirety in your exercise. Instead use the Print Screen feature on your computer to save a low resolution version of each map. See the Digital Submissions Guide for details.

3. Finding 'Real' Maps of your Home in the Library (25 pts)

Not all maps that exist can be found on the internets. There are many older maps (on big sheets, in atlases, books, reports, etc.) that only exist on paper and many maps in atlases and books that are not easily accessible in digital form.

Libraries are an excellent, although sometimes confusing, source of printed maps.

This section of the exercise is a brief foray into "information literacy" and library skills. Please don't get too excited.

Some libraries have special map collections containing all their cartographic material, while other libraries, such as those at OWU, don't segregate maps: they are mixed in with all the other library stuff.

Maps are cataloged geographically in terms of the places they represent (e.g., Ohio) as well as thematically in terms of the subject matter of the work (e.g., Glacial Landforms). Maps are found individually (e.g., as single topographic maps), in printed, comprehensive and systematically arranged collections (e.g., atlases), and as illustrative matter accompanying text in books, government documents, journals, etc.

  1. Please use CONSORT and OhioLink to locate and acquire two printed maps of the area around your home. For international students, find a map for your US and international home for this part of the exercise. The larger scale (more detailed) the map the better, but do the best you can. Details on how to search and find paper maps available at Geography 222 Library Resources pages compiled by Deb Peoples.

  2. If you can not find a map of their home or something close to home in a print work either at OWU or through Ohiolink loan, then talk to your instructor at least a week before the exercise due date.

  3. If you have to resort to getting a map or book from another campus, you may want to order several so at least one is viable.

  4. Students have found maps at the Delaware Public Library: try there if you are having difficulty on campus.

  5. Scan the maps (see instructions for scanning in the Digital Submissions Guide OR if all else fails, just take a cell-phone snap shot of the map. Insert the scan or snap-shot in your document.

  6. Type 2 pages: Note the title of the map or its caption. Give the library call number for the map or for the item in which you found the map. Briefly describe the map. If necessary, give the page number where the map was found. Document the search strategy you used to find the map (e.g.., what key words or subject headings did you use) or if you browsed the shelves, which shelves and why. Note any problems you had. This process may be frustrating! Finding paper maps can be really tough.

Don't find a copy of the topographic map (US Geologic Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale map, 7.5 minute series, or any USGS topographic map) you located and will order in part two of this exercise. Also, don't turn in a map saved or printed from the internet - you must find a PAPER map for this part of the exercise.

Exercise 2: Sum:

Please Don't do the Don'ts in this exercise. Just Don't. Search for the word "don't" on this page if you don't recall what you should don't do.

Please format your exercise so that it reflects the different sections above. Include headers (eg., "3. Finding 'Real' Maps of your Home in the Library") before each set of maps and answers. Embed scans and digital images in appropriate locations (not all at the end). Review the Digital Submissions Guide if you have any questions, or contact your instructor. Turn in about 6 pages + images total.


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