Examines the concepts and methods of geographic information systems (GIS) and related elements of spatial analysis and representation. Through projects and lab exercises, student gain basic proficiency in the use of GIS and an interdisciplinary understanding of the applications of GIS.
This course has been structured to provide the student with basic to mid-level training in GIS for mapping, displaying, capturing, and analysis of spatial data. The course makes use of the software ArcGIS. This course will combine lectures on the fundamentals of geographic information science with laboratory exercises and demos of specific GIS platforms and processes.
Student learning goals
To provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between GIS, Global Positioning System (GPS), cartography, and spatial analysis.
To generate a thorough discussion of the essential components of: data capture, storage, manipulation/analysis, and presentation in a geospatial context;
To learn the essentials of the construction and management of a geospatial database;
To gain hands-on experience with ArcGIS, a commonly used desktop software package used in geospatial analysis and other free mapping software.
General method of instruction
The first session of each week will present a GIS topic and include an in-class demo. The second session will consist of a required lab exercise which is expected to be completed by all students. Students are expected to spend some extra time on their own to complete the lab reports. Attendance to both sessions, lecture and laboratory, is mandatory. Weekly readings will provide the basis for class discussion.
Even though there are no prerequisites for this course, students should be familiar with PCs and Windows. Students will be better prepared if they have basic training in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments and laboratories will be assigned every two weeks. These are designed to give students a chance to put into practice what has been covered in lectures and in-class demos. There will be 5 – 6 laboratories and lab reports.
Grades will be determined based on lab reports, exams, and class participation.