Today in History as Told by Maps: September 19, 1987 / Fictional Maps

A cult classic, The Princess Bride first captured the hearts and minds of viewers on this day in 1897 (starting, of course, with the Grandson.) The story followed a slew of characters as they traversed the inconceivable landscapes of Florin and Guilder. The love-revenge-espionage plot cast the characters in a wild game of cat and […]

First Mystery Map of the 2017-2018 Academic Year

What better way to kick off the fall semester with a Mystery Map? The stakes are high–pride and glory, a spot on the Mystery Map Hall of Fame™, and negotiable baked goods. Behold: When you have a guess, submit your answers below. Submissions are accepted until the end of September! 

Today in History as Told by Maps: September 12, 1229

James I of Aragon (appropriately known as James the Conqueror) landed at Santa Ponça, Majorca on this day in 1229—launching the first of his campaigns to capture the Balearic Islands. The largest of the islands, Majorca lies at the heart of economic and cultural interchanges in the Mediterranean. Its geographic location made it highly coveted […]

Cartography Across Disciplines: Archaeology in the SAL

By SAL Assistant Rachel Moskowitz ’18 During the fall semester, Professor Liz Klarich came to the Spatial Analysis Lab to ask for assistance with a series of maps for her book manuscript. She requested help with three publication maps detailing her archaeology research in Pukara (Pucará), near Lake Titicaca in the Peruvian Andes. Professor Klarich […]

Bringing back hand-drawn maps (or, how to be a hipster cartographer)

Two weeks ago, I attended the annual conference of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) in Colorado Springs as part of our ongoing efforts to integrate design thinking into how we teach cartography at Smith.  Attendees come from all corners of the cartography world: from illustrators of fictional maps to developers of map-based mobile applications.  As […]

Senior Week Workshops

Calling all aspiring cartographers and spatial thinkers! Interested in developing your map-making skills? Have some spare time during Senior Week? The Spatial Analysis Lab would like to invite Smith students, faculty, staff, and community to join us for a series of informal mapping workshops Tuesday – Friday of Senior Week (5/12-5/15). The workshops are open […]

Nepal Earthquake Response Workshop Well Attended in the Week Before Finals

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team has developed a project called MapGive, which allows volunteers to populate maps in parts of the world where mapping resources are limited. The idea originated following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti when mapping the island’s infrastructure through GPS surveying on foot proved too dangerous and not fast enough. As an alternative OpenStreetMap provided a […]

Ebola Mapping Workshop Packs Room

On Wednesday night the Spatial Analysis Lab hosted workshop instructor Teresa Clary to lead an 90 minute session on Ebola First Responder Mapping with OpenStreetMap. The workshop was heavily attended, pushing the SAL and its computer capacity to the limits. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team has developed a project called MapGive, which encourages volunteers to help […]

Smith College Rail System

Geo-artist Elena Terhune ’14 created this awesome map of an imagined Smith College Subway System. Check it out, and read what she has to say about the process of creating it: “Especially in the colder winter weather, we have all idly wished for some way to travel quickly and warmly. Smith’s Spatial Analysis Lab heard you, […]

An Interesting Map For Your Friday Afternoon!

Food for thought over the weekend: a state-by-state map of the highest-paid public employees. (via Deadspin – click map to enlarge)   This map is a great example of why maps are an efficient way to communicate data. Could this data be visualized using a bar graph, or a pie chat? Yes. Absolutely. But putting it […]