The University of Kentucky’s Department of Geography offers New Maps Plus, a Graduate Certificate in Digital Mapping. Students learn the art of web cartography using the latest technologies used in digital mapping practice. The curriculum binds skills with interaction design principles to ensure students emerge from the program well equipped to create sophisticated web maps using open source web-based tools and libraries. Technologies utilized include mapping libraries such as Leaflet.js, Mapbox.js, and D3.js, helper libraries such as Turf.js, Simple Statistics, and Mapshaper, as well as Git for version control and online collaboration.
New Map Plus courses are offered during four terms annually, ten weeks each term, enabling students to complete the certificate requirements in ten months. Students meet the 11-credit requirement by completing a three-course sequence of:
MAP 671 – Introduction to New Mapping: Introduces students to both the social and technical aspects of digital mapping in the 21st century. Students learn fundamental concepts and techniques in cartography and GIS, including file formats, data classification, projections and coordinate systems, and elementary analytical techniques using desktop and web-based mapping platforms. In addition to providing the fundamental technical competencies necessary to create maps, students will develop the critical awareness required to communicate complex social processes through maps effectively.
MAP 672 – Programming for Web Mapping: Introduces students to the fundamental concepts and techniques of web development and computer programming through web mapping. Students become familiar with current web standards and proficient in manipulating the structural, stylistic and behavioral elements of web maps through programming. Students translate these practices to achieve objectives in web cartography such as the display of a basemap, the thematic representation of data, and the employment of interaction to enhance visual communication and the presentation of information.
MAP 673 –Design for Interactive Web Mapping: Integrates the principles of geographic representation and web programming to develop high-quality interactive web maps. Students design interactive web map projects that appropriately represent spatial data to serve end-user goals of map engagement and visual communication. The course trains students to compose interactive maps within the context of a coherent web page layout, including the development of additional content (such as text and metadata) to aid in visual storytelling.
New Maps Plus additionally offers a more advanced class in web mapping (MAP 675: Collaborative Geovisualization). More information on applying can be found at http://newmapsplus.uky.edu/apply. GRE scores are not required.