Combining (geo-)data in an interactive map

 

In this assessment, you will have the opportunity to explore different sources and combine them in a single tileset that can be explored interactively through a web browser. The assignment aims to evaluate your knowledge and aptitude in the following areas:

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o Understanding of core “backend” concepts in web mapping such as tilesets, client-server architecture, or APIs.

o Ability to use the web as a resource for original data.

o Design skills to present effectively a diverse set of geospatial data in a web map.

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This assignment requires you to source data from the web in different formats, assemble them into a tileset, and document the process. To be successful, you will need to demonstrate your understanding not only of the technical aspects involved in the process, but also of the conceptual notions that underpin them. Below are described the required components for your submission.

First, the design. Start by designing a map for an area you are interested in. There are no clear restrictions but, to ensure you are on the right path, check on your ideas with the module leader, who will be able to assess whether potential problems may arise from your choices. This stage should draw some inspiration from the first weeks of the course, where we looked for examples of web maps and spent time disussing what made them good and why.

Second, the data. Draft a list of potential data that would be ideal to use for your map, and try to find out whether they exist and are available. This will be a good guide for which data you will actually end up using. Do not worry about spending a significant amount of time on this aspect; identifying good data takes time and is at the core of this task. Make sure you include both data you can access from direct downloads (e.g. CDRC) and those you download through an API. Once you know which datasets you need, go ahead and do the work required to download them for the map you want to build.

Third, the assemblage. With all data you have at your disposal from the previous stage, create a tileset that allows to embed the map in an HTML file and explore it through the browser. Pay attention to the design aspects involved in this step too. For example, what is the extent of your map (not necessarily the extent of each of your data)? What are the zoom levels your map will allow? Do you have the same “map” for every zoom level? These are questions you will have to ask (and answer!) yourself to complete this stage successfully.

Finally, presentation of your work. Once you have created your map, you will need to present it. An important aspect of this stage is that it is not really the map you need to present, but the process of creation you have followed and the design choices you have made that should go into the text. Additionally, you will need to provide evidence that you understand the concepts behind some of the technologies you have used. Write up to 1,000 words and include the following:

o Map brief :

1, About 250 words introducing the map. This should cover what it tries to represent (what is it about?) and the choices you have made along the way to take that idea into fruition.

2 About 250 words discussing and motivating the sources of data you have used. Here you should engage not only with what data you are using but why and what they bring to the map. Everything should be in the map for a reason, make sure to spell it out clearly.

o Conceptual background:

1,About 250 words with your description of what an API is, how it works and how it has made your map possible.

2 About 250 words with your description of how tile-based maps work.

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Once completed, you will need to submit the following:

1. A static HTML version of a Jupyter notebook that includes two parts:

1. All your narrative about the map brief and conceptual background.

2. A second section with any code you may have used to complete the assignment, documented in detail. NOTE: this section will not contribute towards the word count.

2. A compressed .zip file containing you tileset and a HTML file that allows a user to browse through the tileset.

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The assignment will be evaluated based on four main pillars, on which you will have to be successful to achieve a good mark:

1. Map design abilities. This includes ideas that were discussed in the course in Blocks 1 and 2.

2. Technical skills. This includes your ability to master technologies that allow you to create a compelling map, but also to access interesting and sophiticated data sources.

3. Overall narrative. This assesses your aptitude to introduce, motivate and justify your map, as well as you ability to bring each component of the assignment into a coherent whole that “fits together”.

4. Conceptual understanding of key technologies presented in the course, in particular of APIs and tile-based mapping.

Requirements: 1000

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