Curricular Materials

GIS-Infused CTE Business Course: Mapping My Community


Your mental map is a representation of your own personal geography that you carry around with you and draw on as you make everyday decisions about where to go and how to get there. Everyone’s mental map is different. Mental maps reflect the spatial information we use in our daily lives, like where we know and where we don’t know, and they are influenced by things like personal experiences, transportation, safety, and accessibility.

Maps are models of the world around us. Creating a map requires selecting what information is important, filtering out what is not important, and simplifying how things are represented. Our mental maps do the same thing, whether we realize it or not.

Mental maps also vary based on social differences. For example, people of different races and ethnicities may have different perceptions of the same neighborhood, women have different travel patterns than men at night, and queer communities historically congregated in spaces under the radar that other people might not know about.

In this lesson, you will discover your own mental map of your community by sketching it by hand. Then you will create your mental map using GIS and compare it with other maps to understand how they each represent just one model of reality.

Curricular Materials

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Project Curricula Details

File Attachment(s)
Target Setting(s)
High school (9-12)
Target Participant(s)
Youth / students
Black/African American participants
Hispanic/Latino participants
Students eligible for free lunch or reduced-price lunch