Summer science classes in the SAL

For four weeks during July and August, the SAL was abuzz with activity as dozens of high-school students designed web maps on topics ranging from local geology to bird migrations in East Asia.  We worked with three different classes in the high school summer programs this year: Anne Wibiralske’s Field Studies in Sustainability class, Ethan […]

Droning in Belize

Back in June, I had the pleasure of spending a week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, assisting the Coral Reef Edventures program, known as Coral Ed for short, with their marine ecology research.  For the past 14 years, adventurous Smith students interested in marine science and education (among other topics) have ventured to Belize […]

Wrapping up Web GIS at UMass

Throughout this semester, we’ve been working with a Five College class at UMass called “Community Service with Web-Based Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)” that Jon was co-teaching.  The five Smith students in the class worked on two semester-long projects for their community partners.  We encountered many bumps along the way, but despite it all […]

Flying Drones in Popham Beach

Two weeks ago, the SAL team headed to Popham Beach State Park, Maine, with Prof. Bob Newton’s Geomorphology class.  Bob has taken his Geomorphology class there for several years to assess erosion at the beach. A major erosion event in the mid 2000s threatened the park’s facilities and nearby homes, which were previously shielded from […]

May Mystery Map Wrap-up

After a series of mystery maps that were cracked within a day, it looks like we finally stumped you! Believe it or not, nobody solved our most recent Mystery Map.  We had some good guesses: several people guessed it was simply distance from Northampton in miles.  This is on the right track, as it offers a plausible […]

Mapathon for Ecuador and Japan

Two weeks ago, on April 21, we hosted a mapathon to help humanitarian relief efforts in Ecuador and Japan, which both suffered major earthquakes on April 16.  Between 10am and 1pm, a total of twelve volunteers, including students from Ecuador and Japan, used satellite imagery to identify and trace roads, buildings, and landslides in OpenStreetMap, an open-source […]

Final Mystery Map of the Semester!

We know how much our faithful readers rely on our Mystery Maps to avoid doing what they’re supposed to be doing (and we’re mostly talking about faculty/staff here, folks!).  We wouldn’t want to let you down at this point in the year, when responsibilities to be avoided are at their peak! So, we present to you […]

April Mystery Map Solved!

Our past two mystery maps (showing the locations of carillons in North America and showing the path of zika) were solved within 24hrs after unleashing them into the wild. With this Mystery Map, we were hoping to stump our blog readers, but alas, this map was no match for your spatial thinking prowess.  The first […]

Learning from the Favorite Places Project

By Karen Yu ’16 One of the older projects that we have worked on at the SAL is the Favorite Places Map on our website. The goal of this project was to see where students, alums, and others saw as their favorite places on campus. Are there parts of campus that students aggregate more towards […]

April Mystery Map

Put on your spatial thinking caps – the next Mystery Map Competition is a go! Click on the image below to see the full, interactive version. Two hints to get you started: First, this maps relates to an event which took place in early March.  Second, we could have shown data for the US in this […]