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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

James W. Harrington
GEOG 367
Seattle Campus

Economic Uses of Geographic Information

Uses of area data and the geographic information systems that handle them in routing, marketing, service-area assessment, and site location. Considers key economic-geography concepts, marketing approaches, questions of data availability and suitability, and GIS. Prerequisite: GEOG 360.

Class description

We have organized this course with ten learning objectives. As you listen, read, discuss, and work on your projects, please try to: 1. see a number of economic decisions as (partially) a function of one's economic goals, and geographic data and its analysis; 2. understand how to analyze transportation networks and routing; 3. become familiar with the basics components of a marketing plan, including the relevance of geographic variables in marketing; 4. understand basic approaches to assessing market or service areas for an outlet; 5. understand basic approaches to selecting retail or service-center locations; 6. identify key sources of geographic data, with the limitations of each; 7. increase your current knowledge of GIS as a means of data storage, manipulation, analysis, retrieval, and presentation; 8. increase your facility with a particular GIS software system; 9. increase your ability to identify a project, defend its utility, identify adequate data sources and their limitations, and divide these tasks among members of a small team; 10. improve your ability and comfort in presenting a compelling case for the utility of a particular type of geographic analysis.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The class meets as a whole twice a week, eighty minutes each session. Each lab section meets once a week for eighty minutes in Geography's Sherman computer lab.

Recommended preparation

This course introduces students to the uses of spatial data and the geographic information systems (GISs) that handle them in routing, marketing, service-area assessment, and site location. In the process, students will gain familiarity with key economic-geography concepts, marketing approaches, data availability, and GIS. The course assumes basic familiarity with computer mapping and GIS (as from UW’s Geography 360), and a willingness to work intensively in a “hands-on” context. A background in economic geography (as from UW’s Geography 207) is helpful but not required.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
most recent syllabus
Last Update by James W. Harrington
Date: 01/05/2004