A GIS Crossword!

08-04-2020 01:55 PM
Esri Notable Contributor
9 2 14.5K

Think you could do pretty well at a GIS-themed crossword puzzle?  Consider these clues:  

  • 16 Across:  A spatial term denoting features that overlay, or ‘cross’ each other.
  • 40 Across:  Type of thematic map in which areas are symbolized in proportion to a variable that represents a summary of a geographic characteristic within each area.
  • 69 Down:  University of Kansas cartographer George, who devised the natural breaks classification.  
  • 295 Down:  The standard deviation of the residuals (prediction errors).

Still feeling confident?  Good!   Now you're ready to tackle the crossword and show the world your GIS knowledge!

This essay's attachments include everything you need, including the following documents:

1.  The GIS crossword - blank.  Provided in Excel and PDF formats.  Why Excel?   So you could use the template to create your own customized GIS crossword in the future!

2.  The GIS crossword solution.  Provided in Excel and PDF formats.   Open these only if you are really stuck and, after talking with your GIS colleagues, need a "lifeline."

3.  The clues to the crossword.  Provided in MS Word and PDF formats; again, so you can modify to create your own quiz tailored to your particular field of GIS, your region of the world, or your native language. 

Over 400 clues exist in the crossword, so it should provide some hours of enjoyment!  You could use this as a set of quiz questions for GIS Day.   You could show this at another event that you are hosting or participating in.  How many answers can individuals or teams come up with in, say, 5 minutes?  10 minutes? 

Need some help?   Network!  Consult with your GIS friends!  During these travel-restricted times, holding a puzzle-solving session in Zoom might be a fun way to interact with your colleagues.  I encourage you to try it without consulting any external documents. But if you truly need some resources, consider these lists of GIS acronyms:   From LandInfo, from the University of California Berkeley, from Shasta County California, and this general acronyms list.  The ArcGIS Pro documentation might also come in handy.   But you'll do fine on your own.    For more, watch this video:  Announcing a GIS crossword puzzle - YouTube.

Have fun and ... no peeking! 


Solutions:  40 Across:  Choropleth.   69 Down:  Jenks.  (Rock Chalk!).   The others?  You will need to solve them!

A section of the clues for the GIS crossword.

A section of the clues for the GIS crossword.

A section of the GIS crossword.A section of the GIS crossword.

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About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.