Here is the link to my website that features the map of the squirrels in the central park of New York.
Although I was not present in class on Thursday, I was able to follow through with the directions that were detailed and clear. There were a few challenges during the process since reading the directions took me some time and as a result, I got a bit behind compared to the class. However, this seemed to be an interesting lab because I learned about data visualization from the first step to the finished product. I was particularly amazed by the squirrel project and how a person can gather information, record it on paper, transform it into digital data and use the incredible ArcGIS online platform to create a live interactive map all from scattering data that were gathered in a park. This is such a useful tool for analyzing data deeper and getting meaningful results from some data that would otherwise be simple numbers on a sheet of paper. It’s through data visualization that we can transform qualitative data into quantitative data. In other words, data visualization such as web mapping allows us to ask new questions and find their answers. For instance, the map that was generated by the New York Times actually uses squirrel icons with different colors to bring the data to life and make them more realistic. This feature allows us to find patterns in the general population of squirrels in the central park and compare and contrast the squirrels based on different factors to learn more about their nature and behaviors. The project suddenly generates more meaningful outcomes than just simply finding the population of squirrels. Overall, I enjoyed working on this lab and learning about the useful tool of the ArcGIS online tool and how it’s used in the squirrel project by the New York Times. It was also a question for me on how could one find the population of a species in a park since it’s so difficult to keep track of them, especially squirrels who are very fast and identical to each other.