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# Session 1: Reverse Engineering Maps

Welcome to the first session of the Making Sense of Maps and Data!

Excerpt of Kids Count Map

Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay, excerpt of Boston Kids Count (Leventhal Map & Education Center, 2020).

In this lesson, we'll begin piecing together the relationship between the visual device called "a map" and the much larger category of "data." We'll take a look at some already-existing maps and think about what kind of data was needed to create them. We'll investigate what kinds of simple data structures computers are able to understand and process. And we'll conclude by opening up critical questions that we should bring to bear on any map or data set.

# Key Questions

  • What is the difference between "a map" and "data"?
  • How can we interpret what kind of data was needed to make a map?
  • When you set out to make a map on a particular topic, what kinds of data will you need?
  • What are the limitations of what kind of information a computer can work with?
  • What are some reasons we should be careful about the ways that data is represented and encoded?

# Key Terms

  • GIS
  • data and geospatial data
  • geometry
  • attributes
  • rendering
  • privilege

# Goals of this session

At the end of this lesson, you'll be able to:

  • Look at a map and make a good guess about what kinds of computer data went in to producing it
  • Understand what kinds of special features are found in geospatial data
  • Explain why we need to be careful about the view of the world that is presented in a map and in a data set

# Let's get started!

Click the link below to go to the first page, What is a map? What is data?

Last Updated: 4/7/2022, 2:47:41 PM