January Mystery Map Answer Released!

January Mystery Map: “Hear ye, hear ye!”

What mystery variable is taking over the Smith College campus?

The answer is:

The mystery map shows the location of chalkings on the Smith College campus. Additionally, the color of each dot corresponds to the content of the chalking, which we classified into six categories: events on campus, inspirational messages, chalkings about local/state/national politics (mostly regarding the November elections), chalkings about SGA/campus elections, recruiting for student organizations, and of course messages that are simply absurd.

Though this map doesn’t show a very clear pattern regarding the categories of the chalkings (we don’t see a strong correlation with location and type of chalking, such as chalkings for student orgs in the Quad and chalkings for academic events outside academic buildings), there certainly seem to be places that are popular for spreading messages! Chapin Circle, the areas around Neilson Library, and the sidewalks connecting the Clark Science Center buildings all had high concentrations of chalkings. Check out the updated map to the right, which is revised to show the answer (click to enlarge!).

The winner is:

Congratulations to Sarah Kay, this month’s Mystery Map winner! We had a record number of correct guesses this month… good work everyone!

The making of the map:

This month’s map was the product of a lot of legowrk by SAL student intern Camille Dwyer. Camille used GPS data collection techniques to gather the locations of each chalking, but rather than using a traditional GPS unit, she used the Fulcrum App on an iPad to record the location (latitude and longitude) of each chalking, along with the category that it fell in, a photo of the message or design, and any other relevant information.

Once the GPS data was collected, Camille was able to export the locations and the associated information into  a GIS system to create the map, and used the categories assigned during data collection to create color-coded symbols for each type of chalking.

This month’s stats: