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.
Geographic Information System (GIS) is a special information system designed to store, manage and analyze particularly geographically referenced data. While these kinds of activities have gone on for centuries, principally within the realm of cartography and geography, the development of new technologies over the past few decades has allowed the application of new logics to geographic information processing. It deals with not only quantitative data but also qualitative data. Recently, the application of GIS has been amazingly broadened and a lot of various disciplines started to use it. Especially, some disciplines have more influenced on the development of GIS and they are Geography, Geology, Planning, Transportation, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Philosophy and Environmental Science and others. In this course, you will learn the fundamental principles of GIS, in ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. That is, the course is neither a solely “theoretical” course, nor exclusively a “software training” course. Our efforts and time will be balanced between helping you achieve an understanding of the important principles on which GIS is based, and acquire skills to carry out basic GIS analyses using a common ESRI ArcGIS software package.
Student learning goals
Students will learn fundamental principles of GIS in theory and practice.
Students will explore various models of GIS both in mapping and database.
Students will gain hands-on experience with GIS software.
Students will develop their analytical skills to carry out basic GIS spatial analyses.
General method of instruction
Class will be composed of lectures, discussions of assigned readings and key topics, and various in-class GIS Lab exercises.
Students are expected to have some basic knowledge or interests of mapping and geographic data in general. Students also should be prepared to read all the assigned readings before coming to class, and they are expected to participate in the class discussions and activities. Also, computer-based GIS lab exercises based on lectures are essential part of this course.
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be based on two exams (20% each), GIS labs (25%), final project (15%), two quizzes (10%), and students’ preparation for and participation in class discussions (10%).