La Connaissance: Acquaintances around Campus

As a Freshmen, getting to know people is an important part of life. Therefore, I have mapped out how many people I know in various dorms on campus.


One of the first issues I ran into in the creation of this map was the dissonance between the two styles of maps that were in the overlaying process. The given map of Davidson had a very large focus on portraying the buildings correctly, while the roads were simply one-dimensional lines. Conversely, the map of Davidson I used was very focused on portraying the roads accuracy, while the buildings had a lot of variation in their accuracy of scale. Therefore, in the first overlay of the map I did the points were very far off as I had attempted to approximate reference points on the roads as well as the buildings, which made the map very inaccurate. By focusing solely on the buildings for reference, I was able to get an overlay that lined up much more cleanly.

The second problem I encountered was the fact that when attempting to make a gradient with QGIS, my shapefiles would disappear. Since the shapes are rather important for the message of the map, I had to work out a workaround by using the categorized style. After inputting my data values into the categorized system, I set the colors of each category individually so as to represent a gradient. The downside to this workaround is that the gradient may not be equally spaces in its color values.

Interestingly, from this map I can see that my social web seems to either stretch to include a particular dorm or not. It is no surprise that Cannon has the largest amount of people, given that it is my home dorm, but the inclusion of Richardson is interesting, given the lack of proximity between it and Cannon. However, it is important to note that this map does not include those people with which I am friends or acquaintances whom I do not know where they reside. Despite that, I think this map presents an interesting picture of my social reach at Davidson and I would be very interested to see how it changes over the course of my time here.

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