The 2015 GIS Poster Expo took place this week, showcasing the work and research of UEP, Fletcher, civil and environmental engineering, undergraduates and others. Project topics ranged from food hub site suitability to transportation access to international conflict sites. Each project used Geographic Information System to create maps of issues related to their studies.
This poster, by Griffin Richards, focused on Massachusetts salt marshes, and below Timothy Grant looks at property values along the Malden River.
Poster by Griffin Richards
Poster by Timothy Grant
The event culminated in an awards ceremony, with several runners up shown below:
Runner Up Poster by Gabe Joseph
Runner Up poster by Danielle Ngo, Sol Ucciani and Alister Wood, made for the Acadia Center.
Runner Up Poster by Juan Taborda
The winner of the event was Fletcher student Wil Mackey, whose project focused on violent events related to the war in Iraq. His project took the form of an interactive web site, and the user could scroll through a number of maps and charts with a deeper level of analysis.
GIS Expo Winner: Wil Mackey
GIS Expo Winner: Wil Mackey
The event provided an opportunity for researchers across different fields to compare methods of using Geographic Information Systems in their work, and acted as a reunion for GIS classes from the previous semester.
Beyond the introductory GIS class, there are several other classes available to UEP students in different areas of spatial analysis. Remote Sensing is popular among those interested in natural sciences, while some of the offerings from Fletcher School bring students to the forefront of current events. A list of all Tufts GIS classes can be found here.
Two posters from last spring demonstrate some of the up-to-the-minute possibilities of crisis mapping. First, undergrad Ray Kameda mapped actual tsunami damage in Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. That crisis was unfolding during the semester, and Ray took live data to evaluate actual damage against projected damage.
The second poster, created by a Fletcher School student, examined routes of travel for protesters in Cairo on their way to Tahrir Square during the revolution there. As those protests were unfolding in the midst of the semester, the poster uses up-to-the-minute data in its least-cost path analysis.
Last fall, Gabriel Holbrow ’12 took Introduction to GIS (Geographic Information Systems) taught by Barbara Parmenter. The final assignment for that class is to make a poster using the mapping and spatial analysis skills you’ve learned. Gabe was interested in walkability and metrics for measuring it. He took the wealth of data provided in the District of Columbia, and made a beautiful poster on the topic. Since that time, the poster has won multiple awards.
UEP is blessed with fantastic GIS resources. Barbara Parmenter spends half her time as a UEP core faculty member, and the other half providing GIS support for the whole Tufts community. She puts extensive energy into her teaching, and her classes are widely enjoyed. GIS classes are taught in the state-of-the-art Spatial Analysis Lab, tucked behind the circulation desk area in Tisch Library, to the left of the main stairs. Somewhere between the formality of Tisch’s Tower Cafe and the rest of the library, the lab is primarily used and overseen by UEP students, though students from other programs also work there.
Introduction to GIS is always a popular course for UEP students, but it is offered every semester. Barbara often encourages UEP students to wait until their second year to take it, at which point they are guaranteed a spot. It is quite difficult to get into the class during one’s first semester, due to first-years’ late registration date. But some do take the class in the fall, like Gabe Holbrow, and many first-year UEPers take it in the spring of their first year.