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2023 Student Mapping Competition Entries:
President’s Prize (College Level Entries)
The CCA President’s Prize recognizes excellence in student map design and production and is open to all students at Canadian post-secondary institutions who have completed and produced a cartographic project in the preceding school year.
The President’s Prize Competition consists of college-level or CEGEP student entries, and University-level student entries.
We would like to share the CCA 2023 student map Competition Entries with Everyone, and thank students for sharing their creative work with everyone.
This page features the college-level or CEGEP student entries, listed in no particular order. Clicking on an image will open up a higher resolution of that map.
Winners will be announced at CARTO 2023 Conference in Calgary
- Jessica Murdoch – Sunken Stories on the Border Lake Huron
- Ryan Lowe – Peoples of the Austro-Hungarian Empire circa. 1910
- Sunieti Bhandari – Atlas of Impact Craters
- Hannah Genosko – Nova Scotia Food Deserts
2023 Student Mapping Competition Entries: President’s Prize (College Level Entries)
Atlas – Impact Craters
Sunieti Bhandari, Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) / Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)
1. Opportunity Our planet is perpetually blitzed by objects from outer space. We mostly experience this phenomenon as either meteor showers or passing comets since our atmosphere burns up most of these objects. However, on certain occasions, these celestial objects are big enough to survive our atmosphere, which then causes them to make contact with Earth’s surface and create an impact. The ambition of this project was to utilize the opportunity to create a cartographically rendered Atlas displaying the history of our planet and mapping these beautiful renditions of time.
2.1. The solar system started to form approximately 4.6 billion years ago from a disc of interstellar gas and dust converging into a colossal molecular cloud. With time, a center with the densest mass along with a disc of gas and dust formed. The pressure inside the central star ultimately grew enough to allow nuclear fusion and fission which led to a blast of stellar winds and arrested the particles from falling inwards. Due to gravitational pull from the center, the particles began orbiting the center at varying speeds, allowing them to collide with other similar particles and fuse into larger “planetesimals” that ranged from miles to hundreds of miles in diameter. The planets as we know them now, formed over the next millions of years from these planetesimals orbiting around the sun.
2.2. Earth, like its fellow terrestrial planets, is made up of astral particles and has a central core, a rocky mantle, and a solid crust. The fifth-largest planet in the solar system, Earth lies at enough distance from the sun to allow for a favorable atmosphere for potential life as we know it. However, the Earth, in its journey of billions of years, has also seen many collisions, with various astronomical bodies, some of which have left an impact on its history along with its geography.
3.1. According to the Planetary and Space Science Centre (PASSC) at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, there are 190 confirmed impact structures on Earth. However, owing to Earth’s dynamic climate structure, the collision impact sites or craters of these cosmic bodies have seen considerable weathering and erosion and some of the largest impacts are barely visible today. The impact craters, lie all over the surface of Earth as remnants of our planet’s history and bear relics of the early days of the solar system.
3.2. The aim was to create an Atlas of 12 Impact Craters and take a look at the remains of the collisions and how they impacted our world. Out of the 190 such sites, potential sites shall be identified which shall form part of the final Atlas. These 12 sites were determined based on their size, geological importance and availability of data.
3.3. Each plate displays a hill shade rendition of the impact crater site and a three-dimensional visualization of the geography of the region around the impact accompanied by narrative text about the impact, its significance (if any) and possible geological impression.
4. Design Objectives
4.1. Visualization of Impact Craters: The primary objective was to visually depict the impact craters on Earth’s surface. The maps provide an opportunity for viewers to explore and understand the geological significance of impact craters.
4.2. Historical Context and Geological Impression: Historical context is a necessary tool to provide perspective to geological events. The narrative text accompanying the maps explains the formation of the impact, its significance, and the resulting geological features. This allows to enhance the viewer’s understanding of the impact craters’ role in shaping Earth’s history and geography.
4.3. Selection of Impact Craters: The design choices focus on selecting 12 impact craters based on their size, geological importance, and availability of data. The objective is to showcase a diverse range of impact craters that represent different regions and geological contexts. This selection ensures that the Atlas provides a comprehensive overview of impact events and their global distribution.
4.4. Visual Representation Techniques: The design choices aim to utilize hill shade renditions and three-dimensional visualizations to represent the impact craters and the surrounding geography. These techniques enhance the visual appeal of the maps and provide a more immersive experience for the viewers. The objective is to create visually engaging representations that effectively convey the topography and geological features of each impact site.
5. Rationale for Design Choices
5.1. Scientific and Educational Value: By visually representing impact craters and providing historical and geological context, the design choices aim to promote scientific understanding and educate the viewers about the significance of impact events. The rationale is to inspire curiosity, spark interest in planetary science, and foster a deeper appreciation for Earth’s geological history.
5.2. Geographic Representation: The selection of 12 impact craters from different regions ensures a global representation of impact events. This rationale allows viewers to understand that impact craters are not limited to specific areas but have occurred worldwide, emphasizing the universal nature of celestial impacts.
5.3. Visualization Techniques: The use of hill shade renditions and three-dimensional visualizations helps create a sense of depth and perspective, enabling viewers to visualize the topography and geological features of each impact crater. The rationale is to enhance the visual clarity and provide a more immersive experience, enabling viewers to better comprehend the impact of events and their resulting geological changes.
5.4. Selection Criteria: The criteria for selecting impact craters based on size, geological importance, and data availability ensure that the Atlas includes significant and well-documented impact sites. The rationale is to present impact craters that have made a notable impact on Earth’s history and have sufficient data to provide comprehensive narratives for each site.
In summary, the design objectives for the thematic mapping project on impact craters focus on visualizing the impact craters, providing historical and geological context, selecting representative impact sites, and employing visual representation techniques. The design choices are driven by the aim to educate, inspire curiosity, and enhance the viewer’s understanding of the geological impact of cosmic events on our planet.
Note: Not all pages of the Atlas are displayed here on this page, so please click here to open it up so you can browse all of the maps that it includes
Nova Scotia Food Deserts
Hannah Genosko, Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) / Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)
Design Objectives: This project’s design objectives are to show my research and exploration of food deserts in both urban Halifax/Dartmouth and rural counties in Nova Scotia.
The maps are shown with legend information alongside, and sections of text describing the methodology, findings, connections to poverty, and areas for further research with each map. The data for major chain grocery stores for both maps was independently gathered and georeferenced in ArcGIS Pro.
The Network Analysis tool was used to generate service area polygons showing walking times and driving times for the urban map and rural map, respectively. The maps explore how poverty relates to the food desert phenomenon; I used census dissemination areas showing poverty data to identify low-income neighborhoods and compared them with my walking time results.
For the rural map, I used provincial statistics data that show overall poverty rates by county to compare with occurrence of longer driving distances. Issues came up: the Network Analysis tool generated inaccurate polygons in certain rural driving time cases and are discussed on the poster.
The posters are intended to be shown alongside one another for comparison. These are preliminary findings requiring more research to create a thorough understanding of the large and complex issue of poverty and food deserts, and the variety of mapping tools and techniques available to identify and address it.
Peoples of the Austro-Hungarian Empire circa. 1910
Ryan Lowe, Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) / Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)
Design Objectives: The main design objective for this project was to make the map look both old and modern at the same time.
To accomplish this in the map surround, I first went with an off-white/pale yellow blend for the background. I also used a serif font for the surrounding informational text that accompanies this map. Contrasting the older look, I chose to use sleek black lines, notably on the legend, to give the map a more modern feel.
On the map itself, I had to contend with colourizing 12 different categories of what were considered to be ethnic groups in 1910 Austria-Hungary. This proved to be a challenge, but I balanced it by using some similar colours in areas that were next to each other, in order to contrast them. In the Balkan region, it is most prominent. Various pinks and purples are used to show the ethnic backgrounds of Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks in a very jumbled area, and placing those colours close together allows the map reader to see the difference between them more clearly than if they had been placed on opposite sides of the map. I also used this strategy with the blue colours used to represent Czechs and Slovaks.
I opted for a bold but muted red to show the dispersity of the German population at the time, as they were spread out in pockets throughout the country, and red is a colour that draws attention, allowing these pockets to stand out more. I used the same strategy with the pale grey for the Hungarian populations, using the brightness of the colour to draw attention. I kept the serif font for any physical features on the map (mountain ranges, rivers, lakes) to give it more of an antique feel, but opted for a modern-looking sans-serif font when it came to the manmade features, namely city and regional names.
Overall, these qualities are used to give the map the feeling of being both old and new.
Sunken Stories on the Border – Lake Huron
Jessica Murdoch, Fleming College
Design Objectives: The objective for this project was to produce a large format thematic map and was intended to demonstrate the skills that had been learned over the course of the Geovisualization course (map design, layout, balance, visual hierarchy, Cartographic Colour Conventions, labelling and symbology).
The main design of this map was to create a bathymetric map of Lake Huron, including Georgian Bay, and visualize the locations of the various documented shipwrecks within the Great Lake.
There is an estimated 6,000 sunken ships throughout the 5 Great Lakes, and approximately 1,500 of those lay on the floor on Lake Huron in Michigan, U.S. waters. The bathymetric map was created using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and 5 classes were created to show the various depths in the Great Lake. Only 5 classes were created during the processing stages because any more would have taken the attention away from the shipwreck locations.
To help the user understand the study area, an inset map was utilized in order to show where Lake Huron is located between Canada and the United States. The lake and shipwrecks were to be the focal point of the map and therefore the surrounding land was visualized by using hill shade to show the natural topography and then the countries (Canada and the U.S.) were given a light brown colour which then transparency was applied to allow for the hill shade to be exposed. The design of this map was to visualize shipwrecks and therefore no surrounding towns, roads or any other inapplicable details were included in the surrounding landscape.
The map surrounds include some history of Lake Huron along with a brief discussion of the Great Lakes Storm of 1913, which explored different ships that had sunk due to the conditions. In order to provide a deeper understanding of where these ships had sunk, the labels were placed indicating the vessel name of each identified shipwreck.