UW Cart Lab on Github

The UW Cartography Lab produces many interactive mapping projects, and we often publish the source code for these projects on our Github page.

View our projects on Github here.


MapStudy is an integrated, modularized framework for the creation of survey applications designed to test cartographic design and interaction hypotheses in a modern web map environment. It leverages Postgresql and PHP on the server side and Javascript, jQuery, and Leaflet on the client. MapStudy is being developed specifically for use in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cartography program through the support of the UW-Madison Cartography Lab and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Mapstudy Archive

Several research projects have been completed using the Mapstudy tool. An archive of these projects, containing links to both the source code and full study examples, can be found at the official Mapstudy Archive, located on our Github page.

Web Mapping Workbook

This workbook introduces the practical skills needed to develop interactive maps and visualizations on the open web. Compared to a traditional textbook, this workbook utilizes a "spiral" curriculum of short but interconnected lessons that incrementally build proficiency in interactive cartography and visualization.

The technological landscape for web mapping and visualization is broad, and this workbook is intended as a partial entry point rather than a comprehensive survey. Specifically, the workbook covers core open source web technologies, including the HTML, CSS, and (in particular) JavaScript languages and the Leaflet.js and D3.js web mapping and visualization libraries. Throughout, Github is used as the primary teaching and learning platform. This workbook is free to use, share, and extend as an open educational resource following a CC-BY license.

The workbook is funded by NSF CAREER #1555267 and is meant to be a living resource updated by the University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab. Version 1.0 was released on October 12, 2021. However, the workbook is constantly being updated on GitHub as we actively teach with it during the semester.

Mapping for a Sustainable World

This repo archives UW Cart Lab data and design materials for the book as part of the open educational resource. Data were downloaded from the United Nations SDG Indicators Database, which is continuously updated and maintained. Archived datasets reflect the version used for figures in Mapping for a Sustainable World to enable their exact replication from the book.

QGIS Tutorials

These tutorials pair with the open-source book Mapping for a Sustainable World. The book teaches principles of cartography through the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Mapping for a Sustainable World was developed as a collaboration between the United Nations and the International Cartographic Association with the University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab supporting creation of the book layout and all maps and graphics through National Science Foundation CAREER Grant #1555267.

All tutorials demonstrate map design using the open access mapping software QGIS. Thus, the objective of these tutorials is to enhance the cartographic design thinking described in Mapping for a Sustainable World with technical map software training, putting concepts into practice.

The tutorials were developed by Lily Houtman and Robert E. Roth of the University Wisconsin Cartography Lab under NSF #1555267 and are freely available for personal or classroom/workshop use following a CC BY-NC license.

Global Madison

Madison's East Isthmus: Paths to Change mobile learning module was created for the Introduction to International Studies (IS101) course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by Spring 2014 Mobile Cartography Seminar participants Brian Davidson, Julia Janicki, Vanessa Knoppe-Wetzel, Fei Ma, Rashauna Mead, Chelsea Nestel, Caroline Rose, Carl Sack, and Guiming Zhang under the direction of Professor Robert Roth, with the cooperation of International Studies Professor Stephen Young and Teaching Assistant Mario Bruzzone. Narration was written and performed by Stephen Young. Updates were performed 2014-2015 by Carl Sack; current version is 1.1. All site content is licensed Creative Commons 3.0 unless otherwise noted below. Questions or suggestions about the project should be directed to Stephen Young (sjyoung3@wisc.edu) and Robert Roth (reroth@wisc.edu).

Download the paper about Global Madison.

View the full site.

Tambopata: Who Owns Paradise?

Tambopata: Who Owns Paradise?, is a map-centric, multimedia website created to enrich an educational role playing exercise about biodiversity, conservation, and development in the Amazon. The exercise assigns students a character from the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon, and asks them to evaluate four proposed zoning plans from their assigned perspective. Using principles of web cartography, we designed the four proposal maps to communicate complex information and allow for increased exploration. Compared to the previously used static maps, the website increases opportunities for student engagement with the material, incorporates multimedia, and clarifies spatial relationships and land use patterns. The website is available publicly and can be integrated freely into other university and high school courses.

Download the paper about Tambopata.

View the full site.

Coastal Erosion Visualization Suite

The Coastal Erosion Visualization Suite is a map based visualization tool used to calculate various erosion scenarios on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Central Wisconsin.

View the full site.

Flyover Country

Flyover Country is a National Science Foundation funded offline mobile app for geoscience outreach and data discovery. The app exposes interactive geologic maps from Macrostrat.org, fossil localities from Neotomadb.org and Paleobiodb.org, core sample localities from LacCore.org, Wikipedia articles, offline base maps, and the user’s current GPS determined location, altitude, speed, and heading. The app analyzes a given flight path and caches relevant map data and points of interest (POI), and displays these data during the flight, without in flight wifi. By downloading only the data relevant to a particular flightpath, cache sizes remain reasonable, allowing for a robust experience without an internet connection.

View the full site.

Map Browsing Examples

A series of examples designed to show different methods of panning and zooming in an interactive map. These examples are used in Geography 575: Interactive Cartogrpahy and Geovisualization.

View the full site.