Exercise 2.2Spatial Visualization: Syria Tracker, project of Humanitarian Tracker
Follow the link to view the interactive map. Then answer the following questions.
Spatial Visualization: Syria Tracker (https://syriatracker.crowdmap.com/main)
In this module, you will explore one of the expressions of the democratization of mapping in general, and of crisis mapping in particular. The module illustrates several of the topics introduced in Chapter Two regarding The Nature of Geography. The open-source thematic map is an example of a geographic information system (GIS). It provides data, allows users to interact with and represent that data in a variety of ways. Through the activity, you will investigate the basic components of a web-based, real-time, crowdsourced map. Further, the interactive gives you firsthand experience with crisis reporting and humanitarian efforts.
As you first encounter the webmap, click and hover around to get familiar with the functions and menus. Note the header menu of pages, the drop-down menus titled Filter Reports By and Layers, as well as the base layer button appearing as a small black icon with a stack of three white sheets or parallelograms on the top-right.
Begin by clicking on the About Us heading.
1) According to the description, what is NOT one of the stated provisions of the Syria Tracker crowdsourced map?
a. Aggregate reports of deaths and atrocities.
b. Map of safe locations for Syrian civilians.
c. Updated list of eyewitness reports and media.
d. Stream of news along with official sources.
2) What organization is NOT listed as one of the collaborators on the Syria Tracker crowdsourced map? 2.4
c. Crisis Mappers
d. Syrian Martyrs
Click on the Home heading. Located the Zoom toggles and hover your mouse over the map. Notice the two decimal numbers in the bottom-left frame.
3) What spatial category do the two decimal numbers represent? 2.1
a. Latitude and longitude
b. Absolute space
d. All of the these
Click on the Base Layer Icon. This is where you can toggle between different background base layers.
4) What base layer has no boundaries or cities labelled? 2.2
a. Google Maps Normal
b. Google Maps Satellite
c. Google Maps Hybrid
d. Google Maps Physical
Click through the two drop down menus titled Filter Reports By and Layers.
5) What do the red symbols and numbers represent? 2.4
6) Specifically, the color red, represents what type of report? 2.4
a. Summary Report
d. All Categories
7) Consider the categories of reports being submitted to the crowdsourced map. Each report brings meaning to the places being displayed on the map. What geographic category represents the character of places, and in this case, of Syria for the last six years? 2.4
a. Subaltern geographies
b. Relative space
c. Geographical imagination
d. Absolute space
Geographic scale can be explored by zooming in and out on the map. Notice that a change in the size of the area will also change the details displayed. Zoom out as far as you can in your browser.
8) What is NOT one of the countries that has a crowdsourced report? 2.4
a. South Korea
c. United States
Zoom into the area near the symbol with the largest number. You can also refresh the webpage to reset the map to be centered over Syria.
9) What occurs to the symbol when you zoom into it? 2.4
a. The number decreases and the circles size decreases.
b. The number increases and the circles size decreases.
c. The number decreases and the circles size increases.
d. The number and size of the circle both stay the same.
Click on the Home heading again. This will reset the map to be centered over Syria.
10) What location has the highest incidence of submitted reports? 2.4
a. the port
b. the capital
c. the Iraqi border
d. the Turkish border
11) What spatial category is represented by the pattern and size of the circles? 2.4
Click on the Instructions heading.
12) What is the most accurate statement based on your reading of the instructions for submitting a report? 2.4
a. Syrians have some form of access to either internet or other data connection.
b. There is no need for privacy or security in submitting reports to the map.
c. Syrians are encouraged to use SMS, or mobile text service, for submitting reports.
d. There is a requirement to provide personal information along with every report.
Open your textbook to Chapter 2 and find Figure 2.7 of Human Development Index (HDI) Rankings. Locate Syria and its neighbors. Use the Syria Tracker base map to help you.
13) What is Syrias HDI? 2.4
a. Very high
14) What is true regarding the HDI rankings of countries located in the region around Syria? 2.4
a. Most of Syrias neighbors have same HDIs.
b. The HDI of Iraq is the same.
c. Most of Syrias neighbors have lower HDIs.
d. The HDI of Jordan is the same.
Consider the following passage from Chapter 2, Box 2.2: Thinking About Maps:
Maps have since been deconstructed according to their ideological basis, political undertones, and social contexts. They are now no longer seen as uncomplicated pictures of the world. They reflect power relations and embody the knowledge and ignorance, articulations and silences, of the wider social world.
15) Based on your critical understanding of the Syria Tracker crowdsourced map, what statement most accurately reflects underlying access, data quality, or political bias considerations at work in the map? 2.3
a. Syria Tracker is only accessible to those with access to an internet-enabled device.
b. Crowd-sourced nature of the map ensures that reports are accurate and consistent.
c. Syria Tracker has an obvious political stance, siding with one group in the conflict.
d. Reports to Syria Tracker are fact-checked and vetted prior to being mapped.
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