Making Maps

For my aspect of the Colby Environmental Assessment Team
project, I make maps! Here at Colby we have access to a
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory, where we
utilize state of the art software and computers, along with a
semesters worth of class training to make pretty yet informative

This process can be fun, exciting, rewarding, or the most
frustrating five hour block of your week. I have been building
a map that contains a computer based model, which factors in
many variables regarding the local landscape, to determine the
potential for nitrogen and phosphorous to enter Great Pond. I
was doing quite well, and built the model fairly quickly, but when
I went to test it, it failed miserably. Now every time I to run it,
the program shuts down on the computer. Needless to say I have
a lot more work to do!

An hour or two of pure frustration ultimately turned into a
lesson: when you hit a speed bump, in life or in the GIS lab, it’s
usually best to take a step back, breathe deeply, and relax before
making your next move.

I have since refocused my efforts, spent the afternoon making a
few more less complicated map, gotten over the speed bump!


Matt LaPine

Great Pond Sample Sites