University of Colorado at Boulder
Geography 3053
Cartography I
Syllabus for Fall 1995

         Prof. Mark Kumler  Keith Rokoske      Sophia Linn
Office:  201C Guggenheim    201E Guggenheim    201E Guggenheim
Office hours:W 1:30-3, Th 2:30-4M&W 10:30-12   W  12:30-2
Office phone:492-5887       492-3190   492-3190

Course Overview. This course will introduce the fundamental geographic

discipline of cartography: the science and art of designing and producing maps. In the lectures and readings we will examine established cartographic design principles, including page layout, scale and projection, generalization and simplification, symbolization and classification, tones and colors, and techniques for portraying surfaces. In the labs you will produce a series of maps that illustrate the design issues presented in the lectures, using modern digital techniques.

Prerequisites. There are no formal prerequisites for this class, but

you should have a bit of creativity. You need not have any familiarity with computers (Mac, DOS, or unix). You will receive much guidance on good map design, as well as detailed instructions on how to implement these ideas with a powerful computer illustration package, Macromedia■s Freehand (version 5.0).

Lectures. Lectures will meet from 12:30-1:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays

in Hellems 211. Attendance, preparation, and participation are all strongly recommended. In particular, you should read the assigned material in the text before the lecture.

Labs. You must be enrolled in one of the three lab sessions. The labs

meet from 2-4:50 Tuesday, 2-4:50 Wednesday, and __________________ (to be determined). The labs will meet in Guggenheim Room 6, which houses the Geography Department■s High Peaks Spatial Data Analysis Lab (HPSDAL). You must attend the session for which you are enrolled unless special arrangements are made in advance with the Teaching Assistants.

In the labs for this course you will produce a series of maps with the Freehand illustration software. In a typical week the TA will present a brief overview of how you might approach the lab, and then you will spend the bulk of the lab time beginning the map production. The lab periods are intended for you to get a start on the assignment; most assignments will require an additional two to four hours on the computer, which you can put in whenever is convenient for you.

Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, the HPSDAL is open and Jim Robb, Staff Cartographer for the Geography Department, is available for limited help. You will be given a doorcode to the room for access during evening hours and weekends, and you may return to the lab whenever it is convenient for you. The Guggenheim building is open from 7 a.m. until at least 10 p.m. every day; if you are in the lab before the building is locked, you will not be asked to leave. Be warned that the lab is in heavy use this semester (by five other courses and numerous grad students), and access will be competitive. A schedule is posted on the lab door indicating when it is reserved for other courses.

The lab assignments will be due at the beginning of the following week■s lab. Late labs will be penalized one point per day, without exception.

Required Text.

Elements of Cartography, 6th Edition (1995), by Robinson, Morrison, Muehrcke, Kimerling, and Guptill. This text will supplement the lectures and provide numerous examples of good map design. You should read the assigned chapters before the corresponding lectures.

Supplemental readings.

Several other books will be placed on reserve at the Earth Sciences library in Geology for this class. These books are intended as starting points for those of you who wish to learn more about certain aspects of map design. While you will not be tested on anything found only in these supplementary books, you might find their alternative presentation of similar materials quite valuable. Cartography - Thematic Map Design, 3rd. ed. (1993), by Borden Dent. An outstanding alternate text for a course like this.
An Album of Map Projections (1989), by John Snyder. Illustrations of over 100 different projections, with discussions of their properties. How to Lie with Maps (1991), by Mark Monmonier. A popular witty brief on map distortions, inaccuracies, and errors. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1983), by Edward Tufte. A widely-respected compendium of guidelines the successful design of charts, graphs, and maps.


You will need to purchase several high-density 3.5■ floppy disks. Any high-density 3.5■ floppy disks will work ■ you will format them for our machines in the first lab period. You should also purchase, and use, a protective carrying case than can hold a few of your disks for safer transportation and storage; rain, sweat, magnetic fields (possible around any metal object), and stray electrons can wreak havoc with your hard work. You may be asked to turn in certain assignments on disk, so be prepared to part with your disks for several days (i.e. don■t keep your history papers, personal letters, etc. on the same disks as your maps). You might also budget several dollars for high-resolution color printouts and photocopies toward the end of the semester.

Final Project.

You will design, compile, and execute a map or series of maps as a final project. You will produce the map(s) for a local agency that has a need for such products. We will provide a list of several organizations for you to chose from. You will be responsible for meeting with the agency and producing a map or maps to meet its needs. If you produce a single map, it should be considerably more elaborate/complex than any of the assigned lab exercises. You might produce a series of maps, each one comparable to the lab assignments, or you might attempt a new mapping technique not introduced in a lab. By producing maps for such organizations, it is expected that you will experience the realities of producing a map for a client, while at the same time generating a useful product for a deserving organization. To minimize end-of-term crunches and crises, we will have several intermediate progress reports due in the last few weeks: a project description on Nov. 16th, a detailed pencil sketch on Nov. 27th, a full-size rough draft on November 30th, and a final draft on December 7th. The completed final project will be due when you make your presentation to the class ■ either in the last class period on Dec. 12th, or during the final exam time period on December 18th. In lieu of a final exam, you will make a very brief (4-6 minute) presentation of your final project. You will be graded on the design, execution, and presentation of the final project map(s).

Grading:  Exam I           20%
          Exam II          20%
          Labs             40%
          Final Project    20%

Tentative Lecture Schedule:

Chapter in Elements

Date Topic to be read before class

Tuesday 8/29        Introduction and Overview          ■
Thursday 8/31       Nature of Cartography, Map Elements1, 2
Tuesday 9/5         Graticule, Projections I         4, 5a
Thursday 9/7        Projections II                    5b
Tuesday 9/12        Maps & Mapmaking/Mapping Our World ■
Thursday 9/14       Scales and Reference Systems    6 (pp. 
Tuesday 9/19        Censuses, sampling, digitizing    11
Thursday 9/21       Data measurement, statistical processes16 (pp. 270-283)
Tuesday 9/26        Cartographic design, I            18
Thursday 9/28       Cartographic design, II           18
Tuesday 10/3        Text & Typography                 22
Thursday 10/5       EXAM I                             ■
Tuesday 10/10       Selection & Generalization        24
Thursday 10/12      Symbolization of points           25a
Tuesday 10/17       Symbolization of lines, areas     25b
Thursday 10/19      Color Theory & Models             19
Tuesday 10/24       Color & Pattern Creation & Specification20
Thursday 10/26      Color & Pattern Use               21
Tuesday 10/31       Choropleth maps                   26 
Thursday 11/2       Digital elevation data         13 (pp. 
Tuesday 11/7        USGS field trips                  11
Thursday 11/9       USGS field trips                   ■
Tuesday 11/14       Land surface form                 27
Thursday 11/16      Professional Cartography       project 
description due
Tuesday 11/21       EXAM II                            ■
Thursday 11/23      NO CLASS ■ Thanksgiving        detailed 
pencil sketch due 11/27
Tuesday 11/28       Final project work/discussion      ■
Thursday 11/30      Final project work/discussion full-size 
rough drafts due
Tuesday 12/5        Final project work /discussion     ■
Thursday 12/7       The Future of Cartography       final 
drafts due
Tuesday 12/12       Final project presentations I      ■
Monday 12/18        Final project presentations II, 7:30 p.m.■

Tentative Lab Schedule:

  Week  # Dates      Topics
     1    8/29-9/1  Introduction to Macintosh, Freehand, fetch, pine
     2    9/5-7     ■Festa di Pasta■, advanced Freehand
     3    9/12-14   Locator maps, cartographic symbols in Freehand
     4    9/19-21   continued                               
     5    9/26-28   Map projections, Geocart-produced base maps
     6    10/3-5    continued
     7    10/10-12  continued
     8    10/17-19  Proportional symbol maps, scanned base maps
     9    10/24-26  continued

10 10/31-11/2 Choropleth maps, clip-art and other existing bases 11 11/7-9 USGS field trips
12 11/14-16 Surface III, DEMs, on-line datasets 13-16 11/21-12/18Final Projects