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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sarah A. Elwood
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

In this course, we study the art, science, politics, and technologies of cartography, to understand how maps are created and used to represent and communicate spatial phenomena and their relationships. Course lectures, readings, discussions, and lab activities will introduce you to the concepts, techniques, hardware, and software used for computer-aided cartography, with special emphasis on thematic maps produced using GIS software. The data representation and analysis techniques you learn in this course will be useful for later work with GIS. Over the course of the quarter, we will focus on how to use different thematic mapping techniques accurately and appropriately to represent spatial phenomena, and how to design maps for effective communication. But our activities will also hone your ability to be a critical producer and consumer of maps. All maps use the principles of cartography to tell a story for a particular perspective, purpose, or audience, and usually obscures or leaves out other stories. Thus, part of our effort in the class will be devoted to understanding how maps function as a communicative (and sometimes contested) visual media. No computer programming is required, but previous computer experience with Windows 2000 or Windows XP is helpful.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

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.
Last Update by Sarah A. Elwood
Date: 09/19/2006