I must say that this week was a real breakthrough for me! I realize that it is a bit late in the game but in my mind, better late than never.

Basically, as I was practicing on the tool that we are using to actually make our maps, I realized that the technological aspect of the project that I was so afraid of was not an obstacle anymore.

In other words, confusion is not part of my vocabulary when it comes to the UMA project. I just thought that I would share this with everyone as I have been sharing my continuous worries with Shannon and Rory on a regular basis.

This being said, I simply wanted to share what were my record types and how they were relevant to the all the data that I have gathered.

1)      Record type#1: Dead zones

Sub-categories: Location, picture and audio file

Why? Well it is after all a project focusing on dead zones. Therefore, it would be a little odd if I were not mapping them!

2)      Record type#2: Low-signal-strength areas

Sub-categories: Location, picture, numerical signal strength and on some of them, there will be an audio file.

Why? As interesting as it would be for AT&T/I-Phone 3G users to find out why and where there are dead zones, it is also noteworthy to point out the lower signal zones. Why is this important? Well, you might want to find that out because due to bad signal strength, you might be able to text but not actually make a phone call.

3)      Record-type#3: My walks around the city while doing my field work

Sub-categories: Location only

Why? I thought it would be relevant information to have an idea of how I got this information and have a physical trace of these fun walks I did with my signal sensor app.

In total, I should have around 20 elements that will appear on my map. I don’t wish to input any more data than this. For my first digital map, I would rather keep it simple.

I also intend to use the textual option for the locations I will pinpoint on my map. It will be an opportunity for me to explain why I think these dead zones and low signal strengths locations exist. However, I will make sure that these little notes will be no more than 300 words. The last thing I would want to do is bore the map user and drag him into the reading of long paragraphs. Maps exist with the idea of simplifying the message that you are trying to convey. I have felt very strong about this point after doing my map critique on the protests in France. It was a great map but unfortunately, it was taking the user to 600-word articles…and that just defeats the purpose of the map.

I have also decided not  to show how the difference in strength signals whether it is day or night. I was worried that it might be too confusing. On the other hand, now that I am writing my thoughts down, I realize that it would be possible to do so if I added a sub-category within a record-type that will show two different or similar numerical strength values. Something to think about for the next week…

My last process blog will be written on Wednesday night. Why? I believe that like in any other project, it will be the conclusion of the work I have put into this semester. It will be a way, to take a step back and gain some perspective on how I handled my project either from a methodology, research or field work angles.

On a side note, I wish everyone the best in their last stretch of the semester!