Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for GEO 240 Effective Spring 2021

Course Number:
GEO 240
Course Title:
Cartographic Principles and Applications
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores basic cartographic design principles and how to apply them to produce high quality maps using GIS software. Introduces cartographic terminology, principles, and map-making tools. Covers visual representation and communication; how to turn geographic data into effective maps for print and the web; how to critique maps; map design and elements; and color, fonts, labels, and symbols for maps. Prerequisites: GEO 265, WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion of the Cartography course, students will be able to: 

  • Apply cartographic principles, theory and styles to create effective maps using GIS software 
  • Critique maps based on cartographic and design principles 
  • Use an understanding of cartography to examine cultural and environmental issues 

Course Activities and Design

The materials in this course will be presented in a computer lab setting through classroom 
lecture, discussion, software demonstration, peer critique, and computer-based labs. 
Other methods may be implemented such as small group work and in-class activities. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, 
competencies and skills by any combination of the following: 

  • Written results of class labs and exercises 
  • Participation in map critiques 
  • Completion of a final project
  • In-class discussions

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues: 
? Map design & Layout 
? Types of Maps 
? Map colors 

? Map symbols 
? Map labels & fonts 
? Map generalization 
? Quantitative & Qualitative data 
Competencies and Skills: 
? Design & execute various styles and types of maps 
? Use appropriate symbols, colors, and labels for geographic data 
? Use GIS to implement Cartographic principles, theory, and styles 
? Create and display maps in various mediums (print, web, electronic)