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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timothy L. Nyerges
GEOG 360
Seattle Campus

Principles of GIS Mapping

Origins, development, and methods of cartographic mapping. Principles of data representation and map design for thematic mapping and spatial analysis. Introduction to principles of geographic information systems. Not available for credit to students who have completed GEOG 362. Offered: ASp.

Class description

The course learning objectives for students are to: (1) apply principles of map design when creating various types of maps about sustainability (2) practice critical thinking skills during geographic information representation and use (3) understand mapping developments as related to geographic information systems (GIS)

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Cartography can be defined as the art, science, and technology of making and/or using maps to represent locational relationships among phenomena. This course is designed to provide an introduction to the concepts, terminology, software, and hardware involved in computer-aided mapping as a component of geographic information systems (GIS). Lectures emphasize basic concepts for understanding the process of geographic information representation and use. Methods and techniques learned in this course are applicable to GIS. In addition, this course adopts a sustainability theme through which we understand information development and use. Sustainability is one of the major themes in geographic studies world-wide as well as within the Geography Department at the University of Washington.

Lab sections emphasize hands-on experience with geographic data retrieval and manipulation for creating and using maps. Six lab assignments are required for this course. The last assginment is a final project of studentsí choice, taking into consdieration the time and data constraints established by the instructors. Although no computer programming is required for this course, previous computer experience with Windows 2000 is helpful. We will be using the ArcGIS mapping software package on Pentium PC computers. Students have access to ArcGIS mapping software and hardware in the Geography Department's Computer Labs in Smith 401, 411, and 415.

Class discussions emphasize the link between the materials presented in lecture that week and the application of these concepts in lab assignments. In-clss five-minute essays associated with those discussions will help reinforce your understanding of the concepts as they apply to the practice of map making and use.

Recommended preparation

Students should keep pace with reading material, attend class to gain insight from lectures and handouts, ask questions when the need arises.

Class assignments and grading

Computer lab assignments emphasize topics about sustainability, while at the same time explore several different types of maps. The assignments are more structured at the beginning of the course, and then encourage students to make map more design choices near the end of the course.

Grading (total 400 points): 6 Five-Minute Essays - 15% (60 points) of total (10 points each) Midterm Exam - 15% (60 points) of total Final Exam - 20% (80 points) of total 7 Lab Assignments 50% (Lab 1 @ 15 points; 2,3,4,5, @ 25 points each; 6 @ 35 points; 7 @ 50 points) 200 points of total Learning Portfolio - extra credit up to 20 points


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Timothy L. Nyerges
Date: 09/30/2002