photo of Pittsboro courthouse and text
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John’s O&M Lesson 4: Analyzing Map Data

How can maps be used to encourage critical thinking? This lesson can be taught remotely!

Lesson 4: Analyze Map Data 

The goal of this map is to learn how to analyze map data to draw conclusions. The pattern of POIs indicate that there are two main clusters of businesses. Why?

This activity is designed to encourage the student to independently explore the map, discover a pattern and then come up with a reason for this pattern. Once the student has discovered the pattern – and hopefully a reason why this pattern has emerged, then discuss Bypasses and Business Routes. (If you discuss these terms first, it will give away the answer!)

PBO Town Map

Bypass vs. Business Route

Ask your student what these two terms mean (in relationship to highways/interstates); then discuss the terms.

“Bypass” means to go past or around. When used to describe a road, a “bypass” is a road passing around a town or its center to provide an alternative route for through traffic.

“Business Route” is a road that goes through the business district of a town or city. Business routes usually go straight through the center of town; as small towns grow, the downtown area may run out of space to expand and becomes congested with traffic. A new road – often a highway or interstate with multiple lanes – is built to go around the town. Along the new bypass there is room to build and additional businesses – often larger retail businesses – are built. The original smaller store fronts and roads through town often becomes the “historic district” of the town. 

Pittsboro was established as a town in 1785. With Pittsboro, East Street and West Street have become “Business 64”. Starting at the Historic Courthouse and going north on Hillsboro Street is the smaller store fronts; several blocks out in each direction from the Historic Courthouse are old, stately homes. Opening in 2005, Highway 64 Bypass, is an 8 mile loop around the north side of Pittsboro. 

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By Diane Brauner

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