Some students panic as finals week approaches. They worry that they have too much to do, between tests, papers, and the like. Many want or need to make their work stand out, to give it an edge in the grading process. Sometimes, a visual may be what’s needed. And sometimes, BYU’s own Think Spatial, a map making and data analysis club, can help.
Think Spatial: What is it?
This club specializes in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) training and analysis and cartography: “Think Spatial is a consulting agency run by students to serve the geospatial needs of the BYU community, including students, faculty, and administration. Since 2013, we have made maps for scholarly publications, developed web mapping sites, helped administrative units develop spatial data, and assisted professors in conducting analysis for their research,” says Roman Huerta, the group’s president.
They provide training so that students can analyze, understand, and display their data in new ways. One-on-one sessions enable them to tailor their training so that students can create their own professional-looking maps.
What are People Saying About It?
Professional is the very definition of their work, says Devan Jensen, BYU’s Religious Studies Center’s executive editor. He has had the group make maps for various books, including An Introduction to the Book of Abraham by John Gee, as well as Richard Cowan’s Provo’s Two Temples and The Oakland Temple: Portal to Eternity. Of Think Spatial’s work, Jensen said, “Overall, they did outstanding work: highly professional results at a good price. The students are a joy to work with. In particular, Roman Huerta exudes great enthusiasm and follows through very well on projects.”
HBLL Communications/PR Manager Roger Layton had much the same to say about Think Spatial: “I don’t have the final maps yet, but I’m happy with the maps I’ve seen. The students were great to work with. They asked good questions and they were very detail oriented in their work.” The club is making floor maps of the library. Layton anticipates that these will help us to better find what we are looking for.
It is this zeal coupled with the members’ talents that have pushed Think Spatial forward.
Have You Ever Made a Map?