Using MapX – Learning from the life of our planet

Chart of RCP scenarios plotted as a function of time with final radiative forcing values designated for 2100 CE along with end-point temperature change. Being familiar with carbon dioxide (GHG) concentration scenarios will aid in rapid interpretation of projects.

By Dr Beck

Thanks for participating in this first, cursory course on MapX and it’s uses. It’s fills a need not met in other online courses which focus on specific aspects of climate change or environmental tasks, like David Jensen’s excellent edX course on Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace. You will learn not only techniques for getting the most out of your free MapX account, but also the nature of computational simulations and model terminology used by the IPCC. Each lesson will use a Jetpack slideshow. In Chrome browsers this just means using the end arrows or a finger to flip from one slide to another. I have tried to refrain from lectures in English, but let MapX “speak” for itself. We will see how successful this approach will be…




Introduction to The Knowledge Base. Where to seek help beyond this cursory introductory course.

Introduction to MapX buttons and UI devices on the World Map.

Using Map Composer; designing projects with topological contours and aerial views.
The Project View – our first example is a project on Water Stress (The ratio of water withdrawal/depletion to water supply/input).
Each project on MapX will cite literature in the legend screen. Some with direct links to journal articles.


Story Map

Below is LESSON 3, taken from the Story Map video. Be patient. It takes time to load and will load on top of the World Map. Good Luck!

MapX Story Mapping

‘Story Mapping’ is a ubiquitous technique that has become a powerful tool in explaining and understanding, even for toddlers! Here is a YouTube on using it for kids…


Using the Catalog search feature on MapX is useful for many reasons. One of the most widely used and applicable for climate action is this project on crop suitability (1981-2100). Type in “Crop Suitability” and return. The literature for this study is available as Open Access.

You can see the various tags on this project. For now, we will limit ourselves to activating the view of crop suitability. Click on the tag,

Activate this view

The project will populate. Be patient. Scroll down the left screen to see the legend screen and the references and literature available. Brown should be -84% DECREASE in crop suitability. Aquamarine or blue-green should be +80-90% INCREASE in crop suitability.

This is one sector of the World Map so populated by the project suggested “Crop Suitability (1981-2100)“. You can see the simulation for most of Europe and the Middle East.

This project represents a powerful lesson and image for humanity.

In the Summer of 2022, satellite imagery captured the devastation to England from the global-warming spurred heatwaves and drought (below).

From this news outlet at The Mirror => UK news

Please compare your map of Crop Suitability (1981-2100) by zooming to England and the coast of France. What similarities do you see with this NASA image from this Summer?

The shock isn’t from similarities that are present. The shock is from the date when computational simulations indicate that these changed conditions will exist, 2100 CE. The simulations use RCP8.5 senarios, the most severe “business-as-usual” carbon concentrations and emissions. Still, they indicate these type conditions will not exist for 78 years.

I will end this LESSON 4 here. Go crazy with Catalogs.


It shouldn’t be a lesson by itself, but if you have not taken this course by David Jensen, of the UNEP and UVic, and offered by edX now is the time…

Environnmental Security and Sustaining Peace

This is where I learned, from one of the creator’s himself, how to use MapX.

I will also suggest that you organize into project-groups yourself, start a project and assign tasks.

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