At its core, the Cart Lab is a space for students to make and learn. We support a range of formal and informal educational activities to help students mold themselves into well-rounded professionals. The Cart Lab participates in the development and maintenance of four cartography courses offered by the UW Geography Department. We also collaborate with a number of Geography faculty to enrich non-design courses with mapping exercises and materials.

Beyond curriculum, we organize a number of workshops and hosted meet-up events, enabling students to come together with faculty, staff, and professionals to exchange ideas and support each other. Across activities, the Cart Lab as a “maker”-space emphasizes collaborative learning experiences and the building of community across graduate, undergraduate, and certificate students. We are proud to report a 95% placement rate for our students in the profession. Please contact the leadership team if you are a UW student who would like to get involved in the Cart Lab…

Maker-space and Cart Lab Policy

A maker-space is driven by a collective, defined by the needs and expectations of its members and contributors. Each year, Cart Labbers old and new come together to define how we want to make use of the space. As cartographic practice and professional expectations change, so too does the composition of the space.

Pedagogical Research in Cartography

We constantly strive to teach better, and our location within the UW Geography Department enables us to complement our basic research profile with pedagogical research on cartography for k-12 and higher education. To date, we have completed pedagogical research on active and situated learning, collaborative learning, scaffolded instructional design, spiraled curricula, distance education, and the role of maps in geographic and place-based education.

Cartography Courses at UW Geography

The first cartography course at UW–Madison dates to 1937, and today the UW Geography Department offers five courses that partially or fully cover cartography: G170 Our Digital Globe, G370 Introduction to Cartography, G572 Graphic Design in Cartography, G575 Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization, and G970 Seminar in Cartography. The cartography courses support undergraduate majors in Geography and Cartography/GIS, certificates in GIS and Visual Cultures, and both resident and online masters in Cartography/GIS. Learn more about courses in the UW Geography Department…

Cartography Curriculum at UW Geography

The cartography curriculum continues to evolve as modern cartography continues to advance at an unprecedented rate. The curriculum emphasizes a broad understanding of cartography/GIS paired with explicit geography courses. We offer six programs, so you can find the right one to fit your needs.

Learn more about the UW Cartography Curriculum...

Open Resources

The Cart Lab is involved in the creation of open source educational resources, such as textbooks and workbooks.

Web Mapping
Mapping for a Sustainable World

Cart Lab Education Series

The Cart Lab Education Series (CLES) is a weekly series of short (10–15 minute), highly informal presentations, in which we share tips, tricks, fun map things, professional skills, past projects, etc. CLES presentations are student-driven, and include occasional guest presentations from professionals and alum. CLES is open to all Cart Lab students and friends! View our CLES schedule and explore resources from prior meetings…

Design Challenge

The best way to learn about design is by designing. The Cart Lab Design Challenge gives students a focused, “lock-in”-like experience that mimics the daily design constraints they will experience in the real world. The Cart Lab collaborates with Geography faculty to define the geographic problem context, giving the department an opportunity to come together as a community around an important and timely issue. Learn more about the Design Challenge and see the results from prior years…

Educational Resources

There are far too many conceptual and technical competencies in cartography for any single program to maintain. We strongly believe in sharing the load collectively by using and contributing to Educational Resources . We are a Geo For All lab, an educational initiative of OSGeo and the International Cartography Association, and share formal and informal tutorials and resources from our cartography curriculum. View our Educational Resources …

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