Smith College Spatial Analysis Lab

February 2018 Mystery Map Solution

March right in to find out what the February Mystery Map was about! While the map received more than 300 views, we had modest submissions (must be fight-or-flight response to Google Forms.)

Scott Gilman, our previous post-bac fellow, promptly solved the map shortly after it was posted (22 minutes to be exact, but, there was NO COLLUSION)! The map portrayed the geographies mentioned in the State of the Union address, and Scott suggested the title “Damage Control: SOTU shout-outs to placed disparaged by Donald (Act I of “The Don’s Desperate Attempts to Undo the Past and Salvage 2020”).” The other submissions fall nicely on the guessing curve: frequency of locations mentioned in Trump’s tweets (close), “something oil-related” (not so close.)

The locations were retrieved from the official address transcript — explicit place names such as “Houston,” “Florida,” or “Mexico”; but also references to events, such as firefighter David Dahlberg rescuing children “at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.” (Referring to the Circle V Ranch Camp in Santa Barbara, CA.) Cities, states, and countries were represented by their centroids, and the events warranted geocoding addresses. You can explore further in the map below:

These maps were made with Carto, a counterpart to ArcGIS Online. In the Mystery Map, the sequence of mentions was treated as a time-series to display progression. Web-maps are particularly adept at visualizing dynamic information, whether change over time or enabling viewers to interact with the data.