Wednesday, July 22 – Composing with MPix


  • Go over website, share and upload pictures together (10 minutes)
  • Poke around on the website and individually choose one of the uploaded pictures and create something using that you would give to your best friend as a gift (5-7 minutes)
  • Share with your neighbor what object you chose and explain why you did choose other objects (2-3 minutes)
  • As a group, share each person’s object and discuss the following questions (10-15 minutes):
    • What did you think about when designing this object?
    • What kinds of influences are affecting your choices?
    • The article mentions time pressure as a factor of decision making, did you feel if you had more time would you have chosen a different design for your object?
  • Create another object, using a different picture, that you would give to a parent or grandparent as a gift (5-7 minutes)
  • Again, share with your neighbor what object you chose to use and explain why you did choose other objects (2-3 minutes)
  • As a group, share each person’s object and discuss the following questions (20-25 minutes):
    • How did the first object differ from the second? What design choices were different? Text? Colors? Object? Picture?
    • When given a task that directs your attention to a specific audience (friend or parent) are there decisions you automatically make? Alternatives you eliminate based on who you are buying for? What are these decisions based on?
    • How was your decision-making process different? What things came to mind when creating for different audiences?
    • I gave you 5 predetermined pictures to choose from, I assigned you two audiences, and I gave you a set time to complete the task. If today when you walked in and I just asked you to create anything using this website, how would your creation look different? Would the task be easier or more difficult?
    • In the reading from last night, there is a section that addresses the effects of social influences and the difference between choosing something for you and choosing something for another person. What would you choose to include or exclude if these objects were for yourself?
    • What is your one take away from this discussion?
      • Mine was to analyze how people make decisions. Do people make decisions based on past experiences? Audience? Personal preference? Environment? Context? Or a combinations of everything? My purpose of this discussion was for you as a consumer to become more aware of the decisions you make and what influences you to choose one thing over another.

[link to our discussion!]

Homework (from Zander): 

1) Read GIS as Media,

2) Write a short blog post on: (In reference to the old relationship of map maker produces for map consumer)

“New spatial media are reconfiguring this relationship, as is illustrated by the SyriaIran maps that proliferated during and following the final presidential debate. The reader is no longer (perhaps they were never) a simple percipient of maps. The reader interacts within the map, querying and adjusting the scale and scope of the cartographic representation. In some cases, the map is reconfigured and layered with new meanings (Roth 2012). This emerging map interactivity has been largely described as maps 2.0, with map practices and map products increasingly driven by users — many are self-identified ‘neogeographers’.”


“The emergence of ‘volunteered geographic information’ therefore marks an emergent area of inquiry within the GISciences, responding to less academic developments within a field of hobbyists and entrepreneurs called ‘neogeography’ (Wilson and Graham 2013). VGI describes an area of GISc that recognizes the opportunities of social and spatial media in producing massive amounts of information that can and should be leveraged to understand human as well as physical geographies”

Here are the questions you should address/think about:

  • A large part of what makes GIS so powerful right now is the access to “Big Data”.  What do you think of GIS being a data-driven spatial medium in which information is nitpicked to carry and present specific arguments?  In other words, we can develop tremendous insight, objective and artistic, into all varieties of human, social, and political geographies by filtering the small sliver of data we need to form a perception of reality, a worldview.   What are your thoughts?
  • GIS goes far beyond maps, but what compositional tools/affordances does it create as spatial media?
  • How does everyone having access to geographic data (social, economic, physical, visual), being what the author’s call “neogeographers”, either enhance already existing compositional mediums or originate new forms altogether?  We’ve seen how GIS has proliferated location-based services, but we’re beginning to see more, particularly in secondary education.

3) Create an account with ArcGIS at  -> make a public account.


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