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Reproducing Any Map

Important Links

Corresponding Lecture Topic(s)

Introduction to Lab


There are many situations where you may need to reproduce a map  that you only have a paper copy of and do not have in a GIS format. Over the course of the semester you should have the skills and the know-how to be able to bring together the data you need

Data for Lab

  • You will find a digital copy (e.g. non georeferenced image) or paper copy of a map you like and want to reproduce. 
  • You may not reproduce a map from a lap in which all the layers you need are provided to you (e.g. the Geologic Map in Lab 03). 
  • You will then put together and acquire the basemap layers you need and you may even need to create (i.e. edit and/or digitize) some layers from scratch.
No this is not plagiarism, because you will appropriately cite the map you find and all the data you use!


  • Lab 01, 03
  • Lab 04 might be helpful
  • You can do this lab at any point in the semester when you feel you have the skill set developed to do it.

Lab Objectives

The purpose of this lab is primarily to make you realize that most of the maps that you see and like, you can probably produce youself. We want you to look for maps that impress you, and then figure out what it would take to make one just like it. In the process, this will reinforce a lot of really important GIS and cartographic skills.

Meets Course Learning Outcomes 2 & 5.


Task 1 - Get a Map to Reproduce

Find a paper or image (i.e. jpg, png, etc. not in a GIS format) of a map that you want to reproduce. The map should pass the 6 C's litmus test and have all the attributes of a 'good map'. Put this map on your web page for this lab and provide a few sentences to a paragraph justification of why you chose this map to reproduce.

Task 2 - Reproduce It

Reproduce the map to the best of your ability in ArcGIS (feel free to make subtle stylistic improvements, but the core content should be the same). By 'reproduce' you don't necessarily need to make the map look the same as the other map (your map should follow the 6 C's and look better). What you need to 'reproduce' is the data shown in the map.

Task 3 - Make it Interactive

Choose the primary core data layers and convert these to KMZ layers, which you host on your website and use to build interactive Google Map interfaces.

What to Submit

Prepare a webpage for this lab on your personal website for the course and prepare the following within that page or subpages (child pages):

  • Image of map you are reproducing and text justification
  • Image and PDF of your reproduced map
  • An interactive Google Map of the core data displayed in this map.
Make sure your lab conforms to the general lab submission guidelines. Submit a URL for this lab's webpage.