Noah's PDC Blog

Skills Assignment Reflection 1

By Noah Scholfield

February 16, 2019

So far I have learned how to do a few new things with Mapbox but I definitely have more to learn. I will have to make sure that I devote more time to learning the skill going forward because I kind of let it slip this week. I really like how the filtering I added to my Pittsburgh Trees Projects works though. I'm not really sure what other things I can add to that map that makes sense so I made another map to practice some more stuff on. So far this map lets users add their own locations by searching for locations in the search bar. I also added localStorage support so these points are retained after reloading the page or if a user visits the page later. Going forward I want to continue adding different features to my maps like a timeline feature where users can step through the data and see how some dataset changes over time. I will also make sure to dedicate more time to learning this skill because I kind of ignored it for the first half of this week. I still do find this topic interesting and I like figuring out different ways to better present the data through the maps as I learn how to use more features of Mapbox.


1. What was your initial project focus, how has it changed?

My initial focus was basically just learning more about how to use Mapbox to make more interesting and informative maps. My focus hasn't really changed but it has become more specific as I learn more about Mapbox and know more about what is possible.

2. How have you revised your plan of action to account for the principles of deliberate practice entity/learning theories of intelligence.

Overall my plan of action has become more specific so that it has a greater focus it's easier to measure progress. This specificity will make it easier to figure out how much I have learned and if I learned the skills I set out to learn.

3. How many hours of the skill assignments have you completed? Where have you spent most of your time?

So far I've spent about 5 hours developing my Mapbox skills. I've spend most of my time figuring out and implementing filtering functionality so you can filter my Pittsburgh Trees heatmap by the condition the trees are in. I also created an empty map where users can add their own points by searching for a location. These locations are then stored in localStorage in the browser so they will still be there after a page refresh.

4. What are some barriers that might inhibit your ability to achieve your skills development goals? How will you address these?

One of the main barriers is just finding the documentation or tutorials to do what I want to do. One issue I had when adding the filtering functionality was finding documentation about how the filtering worked. The filter options are just an array with strings passed into it which isn't very intuitive when there isn't documentation telling you what the possible options are. I eventually found a post with the functionality I wanted so I used that. Another issue is figuring out what functionality I even want to add. There are lots of possibilities so it's kind of hard to pick things, and even know what all the options are. I've been looking at example of maps other people have done for inspiration.

5. How will you maintain a consistent schedule for practice? How will you benchmark or measure success?

I didn't do that good of a job of this so far but going forward I will try to devote at least an hour per day to working on this skill. I will benchmark my progress based upon how many subskills I learn and can use to add more features to the maps I create.

6. How are you creating feedback loops to measure your competency? How have you revised your targets to make them more concrete?

So far I'm basically just thinking of a feature that I want to add to my map and then figuring out how to do what I want. If I figure it out and implement it in a way that I think is functional and looks good, I consider it a success.

7. Name 3-5 specialized vocab terms associated with your topic. How well do you know these terms so far?

  • Tileset – I think this is what is created from a dataset to be added in a layer
  • Dataset – this is stored data that includes a location (lat and long) and often other info about what that point is and other info about it
    • a dataset can be used to create a tileset which can be added to a layer on a map
  • Layer – a layer is, well layer, on a map that adds some sort of element to the map
    • streets and bodies of water could be an example
    • my heatmap of trees is another example
    • I understand layers pretty well
  • Filter - a filter is how you can decide which points show appear on a map.
    • the documentation for filters is kind of confusing but I get the gist of how they work through examples I have found
    • Filter Documentation
      • I'm not sure who decided that shoving a bunch of strings into an array was a good way to create a filter

Learning Log

Start Time/Date End Time Description of Focus Notes on Process
9/13 7:15pm 8:15pm Added ability to filter the tree heat map by the condition of the tree I used a tutorial about how to filter points of a map layer.
9/13 8:15pm 9:15pm Enhanced filtering to allow you to toggle different conditions I decided to add the ability to include multiple categories in the filter so I figured out how to change the filter to allow that.
9/14 9pm 10pm Created a new page to try things out on and added a Geocoder (search box for locations) This was sort of prep work to give me a clean map to work with for further skills.
9/15 9pm 11pm Figure out how to let users add points to the map I used a couple of different tutorials and general Googling to figure out how to add the points.