Welcome to UKy Mapping and GIS

We make maps in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky. This repository showcases the opportunities and successes that students have at the University to learn map making and GIS.

Table of Contents

Location of UKy GEO

Lexington, Kentucky Lexington is the second largest city in Kentucky and home to the University of Kentucky. This aerial photograph from 1971 shows central campus, the home of UK Geography.]

Kentucky population density Lexington created an urban service area in the late 1950s, the first in the nation. This 2010 population density map created in GEO 309 shows the abrupt transition between urban and rural census blocks around Lexington.

Geography Department’s 75th Anniversary

We are celebrating our 75th Anniversary during the 2018-2019 school year. The Department of Geography was established in 1944 and is “ranked among leading geography graduate programs in the United States.” (Wikipedia)

Stories and maps

History of the Geography Department

History of the Geography Department
Karl Raitz’s Photography of Kentucky

Course opportunities

The university offers numerous paths to learn mapping and GIS, from a minor for undergraduates and graduate certificate for those with a bachelor’s degree. The below list isn’t comprehensive but shows many of the opportunities.

Hillshade animation
Examples from GEO 409

Master of Science (MS) and Graduate Certificate in in Digital Mapping

The Department of Geography’s New Maps Plus graduate programs at the University of Kentucky offer students a challenging, intensive, digital mapping curriculum that emphasizes the acquisition of technical skills—coding, GIS, web development—while also preparing students to critically address the complexity of today’s information ecosystem.

Mapping and GIS - Undergraduate Minor

The College of Arts & Sciences Department of Geography offers a 18 hour (6 course) minor. The following three courses are required and form the foundation of the program’s curriculum:

Link to all available courses in minor


The Department of Geography’s Mapshop provides an opportunity for community and campus organizations to work directly with students, faculty, and cartographic staff in the production of geographic representations. Mapshop is part of the larger University of Kentucky’s New Mappings Collaboratory which is committed to innovations in mapping.

Short courses

Occasionally we offer one-day instruction in various mapping technologies. Here is a past list of courses taught.

Video on Vimeo

Examples of student work


Preview Description
img A random collection of student projects from our graduate certificate program. Link
img Arches of the Red River Gorge mapped and visualized by GEO 409 Fall 2018 students. Link
img Bluegrass region parks and adventures mapped in many ways by GEO 409 Spring 2018 students. Link
img Lidar tree heights in specific neighborhood associations in Lexington, Kentucky to feature ecosystem services provided by urban tree canopy. Link
img A web page that showcases work in mapping, photographing, and researching the Town Branch Trail and its surroundings. Link
img Scenic and topographic analysis of Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve. Link
img Pine Mountain canopy tour at Pine Mountain State Resort Park. Link
img Arboretum Woods tree census where 15 student teams mapped and measured trees in approx. 15 ac. Link
img Examples from Laura Greenfield. Link
img Work displayed here was created by Mapshop staff and students in collaboration with community partners. Link
img Examples from New Maps Plus students. Link
img Bike/Pedestrian vs. Car Collision Analysis Link
img Lexington tree canopy study: patterns of vacant property tree canopy cover Link
img U.S. Wildfires: An analysis of wildfire activity as reported by the national Fire Program Analysis (FPA) system Link
img Old Seattle Haunts Link
img Portland: “Beervana” Oregon Link
img Amtrak Usage by State Link
img 2015 Bay Area Car vs. Bike/Pedestrian Collisions Link