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Final Poster and Paper

The final project results consists of two products - a poster and a short paper. We strongly encourage you to submit this poster to the GIS poster exhibit in May 2010.

Important: Please upload your digital files for your poster (PDF format) and short paper (Word or PDF) to your Student Work Zone site on our wiki.

Project Poster (20 points)

Format: Hard copy mounted poster, put in GIS lab AND PDF uploaded to your Student Work Zone.

The project poster should be a concise summary of project results, major techniques, or conclusions. Think of your audience as people without GIS skills who are interested in understanding either your results or the general principles/issues/methods involved in your project.

Note that in the poster, visuals will be very important. Your maps and other visuals should be very clear and coherent, with all the information readily understandable to a viewer. All standard map/table requirements apply - titles, legends, source citations (agency, year), clear legends, etc. Clarity of the visual materials will be an important part of the grading.

Format: hard copy AND PDF. You must create a PDF of your poster for plotting.  For instructions, see the GIS Poster Design Guidance - please follow those instructions carefully. You will give your PDF to a lab assistant for plotting, and he/she will also digitally archive your PDF for you. Mount your paper poster on foam board and turn it in by hand to the instructor, TA or lab assistant in the lab.  Please upload your PDF and paper to the Student Work Zone section of the wiki. Do NOT submit a publisher file, only the PDF!

Short Paper (10 points)

Format: text document or PDF. Place in the Student Work Zone along with your Poster PDF.

The goal of the short paper is to for you to more fully discuss the data and analysis issues of your project. Your audience is your instructor and also future students who may be interested in similar analyses. I would like to take away from your paper a good understanding of what you did and also be able to pass on your experiences and tips to next year's class. I am anticipating that the length will be somewhere between 4-6 pages,  excluding additional project maps. You may use tables where appropriate. You can use the materials directly from previous assignments (e.g., your Project Description and Project Steps assignment) as appropriate in this one - the idea is that the assignments build into this final paper. For example, if you had a good set of annotated articles in your Project Description assignment, you can copy and paste them into this paper.

The paper should include the following, in any order you deem appropriate: 

  • Brief description of your project, including in particular the key questions relating to spatial relationships, patterns, etc. (i.e., those factors for which spatial analysis is necessary or helpful)
  • Data sources - detailed information about where you obtained the data (agency name, web site if applicable, and link to online metadata if available, format (vector, raster, KML, table, scanned map), year which the data represents (not year of publication).
  • List of major steps in data preparation and analysis
  • Difficulties encountered, successful work-arounds, warnings, etc. (in relation to data sources, methods, computer issues)
  • Concluding thoughts on how well you think your approach worked (be honest!), and suggestions for modifications, further work and/or tips for others working with similar issues
  • Annotated of citations of peer-reviewed research and other projects that have influenced the  approach, data sets, and/or methods used in your project. These are very helpful to me and future students. Briefly discuss how these articles influenced your thinking. Do not just copy the abstract. You must have at least four citations and at least two must be peer-reviewed. You must also provide complete, proper citation to each source. See Liz Panella's final GIS project paper as an example.
  • Include graphics as appropriate to illustrate your steps, results, major problems (not your final poster graphics)
  • You may include additional project maps that did not make it into your poster if you would like me to see what else you did. Like the poster maps, these should adhere to standard requirements - titles, legends, source citations, clear legends, etc.
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