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Maps & Geospatial: Project Planning

This guide provides general guidance on resources for planning a project with a geospatial component, which can apply to multiple disciplines. Specific disciplines may have additional subject-specific considerations.

Initial Brainstorm

Questions to consider when considering including a map or geospatial component.

These are some questions to consider when considering adding map and geospatial components into a research, class, or teaching project.

Support for Map and Geospatial Component

  1. Who is supporting project? (department, advisor, class instructor, own interests)

Individual or Team

  1. Is this a collaborative project or an individual team?
  2. If working in a team environment, are there certain roles?


  1. What is the general theme of the geospatial component?
  2. What are is the geographic area or timeframe(s) of interest?
  3. Consider how the geospatial component fits in with greater research project, project objectives, or unit needs/resources.

Helpful Tools and Techniques for Brainstorming

Questions to Consider as Part of Map and Geospatial Exploration

  1. Does a map exist already on the topic of interest?
  2. What organizations or agencies would relate to the topic of interest to have maps or geospatial data on topic of interest?
  3. If a map does not exist, what resources (technology, human/personnel, time, costs, data) are available to create a geospatial component?