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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timothy L. Nyerges
GEOG 520
Seattle Campus

Research Seminar: Geographic Information Representation

Current issues in geographic information representation for geographic information systems (GIS). Includes representation for visualization, databases, and analyses. Prerequisite: one course in GIS.

Class description

This seminar provides a setting to discuss the motivations, development, and use of geographic information representations, particularly problem scoping, database design, modeling, and displays of information for land use, transportation and water resource planning and decision making. Special focus will be discussion of Internet GIS, WebGIS, Participatory GIS, and Public Participation GIS technologies. We discuss approaches to information requirements, technology implementations, and the use of systems. We will explore and critique example systems. Feasibility of Internet GIS functionality will be considered in terms of system architectures and component technology. Multiple phases of GIS data processing are addressed in terms of "linked information structures" to promote shared understanding among broad-based groups of people. An information structure is a representation of information potentially understandable by a broad group of people, e.g., value trees, decision paths, maps, timelines, tables, and commenting windows. Such information structures are the underpinnings of intellectual artifacts for analytic-deliberative dialog about complex geographical problems, e.g. land use, transportation, and environmental planning and decision making. A research paper is required that deals with a topic of your choice as contextualized by reading material and discussion from class.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Seminar discussion is used as the method of instruction.

Recommended preparation

Prerequisite: Background in at least one course in GIS and interest in Internet GIS.

Class assignments and grading

See basis of grades assigned.

1. Class participation (25% of course grade) - All members of the seminar are responsible for reading at least two of the suggested items each week. All participants in the seminar are responsible for bringing two copies of at least two discussion questions/issues to each class session based on your interests related to the readings. One copy of these questions/issues is for Tim Nyerges; the other copy is for the student to keep a record of interests from that session. Students are to use the questions / issues in developing the course synthesis report.

2. Course synthesis report (25% of course grade) - A course synthesis report is to be compiled using the issues / questions you generated for each class discussion. This synthesis is to focus on the learning outcomes you have attained in the class relevant to your subject interest - preferably your own research topic. Taking a subject matter of your concern you should ask yourself the following question before and after each seminar session. How has this seminar session contributed to a better understanding (confusion) of the topics associated with that subject? Please see/email Tim Nyerges early in the course to discuss a research topic of interest to you. Course Synthesis Report is due the last day of class and will be the topic of discussion for that session.

3. Research paper (50% of course grade) - The paper will be your interpretation of design and use of geographic information representations in relation to a topic of your choice - preferably your own research. The paper is to be approximately 10 double-spaced pages in length (a little more or less is OK), not including the diagrams and references. The research paper is due Wed June 11 at noon.


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.
Course web site 2003 - an update is in progress
Last Update by Timothy L. Nyerges
Date: 10/20/2005