If you’re like me, you use a web map on a near-daily basis for navigation. Maps can be used for more than just navigation though! An oft-repeated but entirely unsupported geography statistic is that 80% of data is spatial in some way. The sentiment, if not the number, is true: you can actually use maps to create knowledge. By mapping spatial data, you might discover trends that aren’t obvious in a spreadsheet.

My research on Mercury involved generating chemical maps of Mercury’s surface and comparing them to other maps made with data from different instruments on the MESSENGER spacecraft. Here is a poster I made qualitatively describing the process for making geochemical maps of Mercury and what we can learn from them:

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