Qualitative Sketch Maps

Qualitative Sketch Maps


Previous research on broadening participation in higher education and Science Technology Engineering and Math has inadequately examined the role of place. This article explores the socio-spatial perceptions of youth of a college campus and changes in perceptions youth experience during their transition from being a university neighbor to becoming part of a university community. This study uses sketch maps and qualitative Geographic Information Systems to document the changing perceptions of 43 youth aged 14–18 during their participation in a university program. The results suggest that some students started to identify with campus spaces as a university student or employee rather than as a neighbor of the university.


Persall, Hamil, Timothy Hawthorne, Daniel Block, Barbara L. Endemano Walker, and Michele Masucci. 2015. Exploring Youth Socio-Spatial Perceptions of Higher Education Landscapes through Sketch Maps. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309265.2014.1002079.


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Target Gradespan(s): 

Feedback on this instrument from projects that have used it

February 3, 2016 - 12:27pm

Q:  In what context did you use this instrument (setting, population, project name)?

Response: We modified the sketch maps that are described in this article. We piloted them with our teacher advisory committee who provided feedback on wording for high school students. We provided the base map of the neighborhood surrounding the high school and students completed two maps pre-and post-workshop (one was related to areas they were "familar with" and the other related to areas they "avoided"). They also answered three open-ended questions pre and post. The first asked them to describe the neighborhood to someone from out of town. The second asked them how they feel about the neighborhood.  The third asked them if they considered the high school to be the center of the neighborhood, and to explain why or why not.

Q: Did you run into any limitations with this instrument? (Y/N)  If yes, please explain.


Q: Did this provide you with relevant information to address your research questions? (Y/N)  If yes, what question did this answer?


Project Name: 

Advancing Geospatial Thinking and Technologies in Grades 9-12: Citizen Mapping, Community Engagement, and Career Preparation in STEM