Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Barbara Parmenter, Ph.D.

1. Final Project and Paper

The final project results consist of two products: a poster and a short paper.

1.1. Project Poster

20 points

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: hard copy and PDF. You must create a PDF of your poster for plotting. Instructions will be provided on how to do this, and we will have a design workshop and instructions on how to use Microsoft Publisher to create your poster. You will give your PDF to a lab assistant for plotting who also will digitally archive your PDF for you. Mount your paper poster on foam board and turn it in by hand.

1.2. Short Paper

15 points

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 as well as 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, any excluding additional project maps. You may use tables where appropriate.

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, web site if applicable, and link to online metadata if available, source scale, 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

  • 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 be adhere to standard requirements - titles, legends, source citations, clear legends, etc.

Format : text document or PDF.

2. Sample student work

View sample student posters and papers in the project folder.