Submissions should be emailed or posted by the Sunday before class, 23:59.

Submissions should be named as follows: flname_n.ext, where f = your first initial, lname = your last name, n is the assignment number, and .ext is the file extension (e.g., 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.

If you submit a spreadsheet, the worksheets and columns should be labeled meaningfully, and have a source worksheet. 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.

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.

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

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.

Ideas for projects:

Assignment 1 – Find and critique an exhibit

This course is about the principles of datagraphic design. A useful way to learn appropriate data visualization skills is to critique an exhibit you find on your own. From your work, research, or reading select at least 3 exhibits (plots, maps, tables) that you can use the PLUS/DELTA technique upon.



Post or email me a couple of pages containing the exhibit and your comments, which should be brief. Be prepared to present a short critique of one of them at our second meeting.

Assignment 2 – Revise the datagraphic

We have discussed the principles of datagraphic design as well as examined a few positive and negative examples in class and in the Wainer book. Select one of the exhibits you discussed in assignment #2 and revise it according to the principles. (If you've found another exhibit you prefer to revise, first give it the PLUS/DELTA treatment). If it's a graphic and you can't determine the exact values shown, then estimate them so that the insight can be gained.

Use any software application you wish - or even paper and pen, so long as you submit a digital copy of the original. Use about one page of text to detail the changes you have made. If possible, use a reference to the Wainer book.

Post or email me your document, and feel free to email me anytime (preferably cc'ing other participants) with questions or issues.

Assignment 3 – Analyze a dataset

Find a reasonably large dataset (n ≥ 26) representing at least 2 of the 3 data dimensions. The data can be from another class, your class or professional work, a reading, an internet search, etc., but your analysis should be original.

Produce an analysis of the data using datagraphics that depict some relationship among the 3 dimensions. Don’t conduct a complicated or sophisticated analysis, but consider a hypothesis and the visualizable insight that demonstrates or rejects it.

Produce a table and at least one datagraphic from the analysis. Although the dataset can be ‘mappable’ most (but not necessarily all) of the analysis should be nonspatial.

You are welcome to email me (and the other participants, preferably) with questions or sample exhibits.

Assignment 4 – Foreclosure analysis

In class we did a preliminary examination of Colorado foreclosure data from the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Produce an analysis of the data based on a map and other datagraphics. This assignment can be a template for your final report.

Present choropleth maps of the estimated foreclosure rates (per person or household) using 2 different classification schemes. The map should have the necessary cartographic elements, selected and designed using the datagraphic design principles.

Also, using any visualization tool you wish (ArcMap > Tools > Graphs, or Excel, R, etc.) present a few datagraphics (bar plot, histogram, scatter, etc.). Write up your results in a brief report using proper citations for data and other references. Look at the methodology paper at the HUD website.

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.