Temporal Information Systems - ASSIGNMENTS

Submissions (or a URL) should be emailed to LDECOLA@COMCAST.NET (not to UMBC) by midnight of the Tuesday before class.

Please conform to the following file naming rule as it makes it easy to keep track of your work. Submission files are to be named as follows:
  flname_n.ext, where
  f = first letter of your first name
  lname = your last name
  n = assignment number, and
  .ext is the file extension (e.g. .doc.pdf.ppt.zip, etc). 
You are welcome to create an HTML document and post in on the web, sending me the URL.

All submissions must show a title, your name, class name, and date.

Any item you copy or refer to must be cited correctly; use the examples in the syllabus, but see a style guide for details. Be sure to include the correct URL and exact references for any data you use.

I rarely print documents and generally view MSWord documents in 'web layout' mode, so don't spend much time trying to format them. The font should be readable at normal size.

Graphics should fill about 2/3 of the width of the screen; anything smaller is too small, anything larger is likely to bleed off the screen in some circumstances.

If you submit a spreadsheet, the worksheets and columns should be labeled meaningfully. Submit the data as well if possible so I can experiment with them. Occasionally I receive ArcMap exhibits in the form of .mxd files. Without the associated data these are not useful; and including the data often results in an unwieldy package. I therefore recommend exporting any map to a graphics file (.gif, .jpg, etc.) in order to share your work.

Useful information

  1. A report writing guide from my website; please read and refer to this when writing!

  2. My document on useful GIS information for helpful hints.

Assignment #1: Redesign an existing datagraphic

Begin now to look for temporal datagraphics and collect (cut out, copy, scan) a few for a collection. Make sure you record all of the relevant citation information (author, provenance, etc.)

Select 3 temporal datagraphics and evaluate each according to the five Data to Insight criteria.

For one of your selected datagraphics provide a scanned pencil & paper redesign of the graphic.

Using software of your choice (Excel, R, SPSS, etc), produce a finished datagraphic that satisfies the criteria. Discuss the insight. Cite one or more suggestions from one of the course recommended books in your report. Of course you are welcome to cite other references as well.

Assignment #2: Analyze a time series

Find some time series data that are not plotted on the source's website. Perform your own analysis: visualization, estimation, forecast. Use my report writing guide to organize your research, and refer to at least two of the books from our USG library reserve book collection. Of course references to other sources (books, articles, research websites, etc.) are always useful. The report should be about 3 pages in length.

A few places with time series data:

US Statistical Abstract
UN World Health Organization
World Bank
United Nations
IPCC Climate data
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

As always: please post questions, etc. on the BB discussion forum!

Assignment #3: Final project

Develop an original project based on your professional or course work or some other interest. You're urged to share your ideas with me and others as you work on the project. Submit it by the usual deadline and be prepared to present it at our last meeting. This could be an elaboration of Assignment #2, but it will then have to be much more detailed.

Ideas for projects

It's always interesting to look deeper into data you're already familiar with from prior work; browse your computer and old reports and see what you can come up with. Work from concurrent classes is also acceptable provided you check with me first.

Do some searching using keywords of interest plus DATA, DATASET, DOWNLOAD, SPREADSHEET, etc...

2N eyes are better than 2, so please share ideas you find.

Data resources (see Assignment #2 above)