BOT 360F - Families of Vascular Plants

Assignment 2 - using SimpleMappr

After capturing the geographic coordinates for the specimens you examined (either directly from the specimen, or by georeferencing), and exporting these data from the spreadsheet to a text file, you need to edit your data into the format required by the mapping program Simplemappr. This page will show you some of the things to watch for when you do so. Visit the SimpleMappr help screen in order to find out the functions of tools shown as icons directly below the Preview tab (see second screen shot, below).

Latitudes and longitudes will usually be in one of two formats: decimal degrees ("dd" - click on the circled examples link on the SimpleMappr Point Data screen), or degrees-minutes-seconds ("dms"), as shown at the right. SimpleMappr can handle either of these (you may wish to confirm that it can handle both on any given layer).

With dd data, note that positive values refer to the northern and eastern hemispheres, while negative values refer to the southern and western hemispheres.

Note the exact format used for dms data: degree symbol, spaces between entries, comma and space between latitude and longitude, and explicit reference to the hemisphere in question (N or S, E or W)

You can add additional layers in order to plot different kinds of symbols at the coordinates that you supply, e.g. to denote different time periods, phenophase, or a second taxon.

 

The screen shot below shows the preview of the TRT Crataegus crus-galli data, after having selected the desired zoom (eastern North America) and projection (Lambert North America). Note the additional layers that have been invoked: state and province boundaries, lakes, and rivers. Also note that a graticule (lines of latitude and longitude) has not yet been selected.

SimpleMappr Point Data screen
SimpleMappr Preview Screen
Before you download your finished map you should crop it to your region of interest, as shown here (highlighted portion of the map). Note that you can select different sizes for the map, and that you can use the check boxes to add various features. The map below was produced with the specifications shown at the right.
SimpleMappr - Cropping and Downloading
A continental scale map produced by SimpleMappr Note that you can also zoom in further, as shown in the map below. This is how you can produce a regional map, as opposed to one showing the entire continent, or its eastern half. In the map below a graticule has been added; it would look nicer if it also had a border, and included an embedded scalebar (see check boxes above). If you have different symbols on different layers you can also embed a legend explaining which symbols are which.
 
A regional scale map produced by SimpleMappr

| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |

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Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 25-Nov-2012