U.S Military Sites and Related Incidents in South Korea – Sheen Kim

2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

Sheen Kim, 2020

NACIS was pleased to award the 2021 NACIS Undergraduate Student Scholarship in Cartography to Sheen Kim.

Sheen is majoring in Geography and Anthropology at Dartmouth College. Here is a short description from the awards committee summarizing the design context of Sheen’s map that was submitted as a representation of her cartographic work.

The map titled “U.S Military Sites and Related Incidents in South Korea” by Sheen Kim presents an interactive web map. Sheen’s map “visually challenges notions of safety and sovereignty” in the context of civilian killings, protests, and other incidents against U.S. territorial occupations on Korean land since the Korean War. Of particular focus of the map are the locations of U.S. military installations. Sheen states that “The intent of my map, however, is straightforward. As residents of the imperial core, we cannot ignore how the U.S. has been and continues to be a perpetrator or patron of military violence all across the world.”

The basemap is cast in grayscale with the land appearing white against a light gray ocean. The widely distributed active and inactive U.S. military sites throughout South Korea can be viewed as point symbols or as a heat map.  Proportional circles illustrate the population of individual U.S. bases. Colorful point symbols are employed to display the location of protests, civilian deaths, and other incidents throughout South Korea. Clicking on one of these points allows a viewer access additional information via a pop-up window. Using both English and Korean letters, map labels help give the viewers a spatial context for the symbols. Her map was also accompanied by a thoughtful statement that nicely tied together the cartographer’s motivation for the project with the visual narrative of the map.

NACIS is proud to foster Sheen’s continued pursuit of academic learning and excellence and wishes the very best in this continued path within the cartographic domain. The NACIS Undergraduate Scholarship in Cartography is open to applicants in the spring of each year.