Welcome to Geography 2840


The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the basics of map reading and interpretation. Basic concepts such as projections, coordinate systems, scale and direction are introduced and reinforced through lab exercises and lecture material. In addition the course looks at how maps can be used to communicate information in a variety of ways. From professionally prepared cartographic data to maps appearing almost daily in the newspapers and magazines, a variety of map sources and types are used to illustrate how maps can speak a language of their own.

One major project will be assigned for this course using USGS topographic maps and aerial photographs. Knowledge of basic internet skills and an understanding of GIS software and graphic software packages will be used as a basis for mapping a variety of thematic topics.

History of Geography 2840

This course was first offered at the University of Missouri in the late seventies and was called Basic Map Interpretation and Remote Sensing. At that time most maps were produced manually and pen and ink, rulers, protractors and lettering templates were the "state-of-the art" map making techniques. This course covered map basics, including air photo interpretation and an introduction to remote sensing. The one semester format allowed enough time to thoroughly cover the subject matter

The evolution of the computer as a mapping tool began in earnest in the early 80's and as satellite imagery, geographic information systems, and more complex spatial analysis began to expand the discipline, this course had to mutate...or basically split into two distinct courses because of the explosion of the subject matter. Geography 47, Mapping the Environment is now the first course in a two course sequence. It is followed by Geography 2480, Introduction to Mapping Science.