Maps: Past, Present & Future Winter 2024

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This course will examine how antique maps provide a frame for understanding history, as well as lessons for modern-day map-making. We will start by considering the purposes of antique maps, especially those made in the 15th and 16th centuries by European and Islamic mapmakers, as well as maps made by indigenous mapmakers. Students will learn about the multitude of online resources available for studying antique maps, and, in their first project, will make a presentation about an antique map of their choice. We will then discuss the tools used in modern-day map-making, including analytical mapping software like ArcGIS and data sources like the US Census. The class will have several guest speakers and will also discuss a variety of case studies about how businesses, governments, and nonprofits utilize modern-day map-making. In the second project, students will select and evaluate a modern-day map, which could be about a nonprofit topic like politics, gerrymandering, racial covenants, redlining, or climate change or a for-profit topic like site selection, advertising effectiveness, sports or recreation.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 25
Expected: NA
Class#: 1187
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Presentation(s); Class participation
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Mix of students with an interest in history, art and science.
Unit Notes: Tom Paper is a Williams grad (1984), Stanford MBA, Managing Partner of Webster Pacific, a consulting firm that helps companies with strategic analytics; he is also VP of the California Map Society and Founder of Pixeum: The Digital Gallery.
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
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