Syllabus

Lectures

 Term Projects

Challenges

Grades

 
Introduction to GIS

With the proliferation of GIS, academics, planners, researchers, and practitioners in a wide variety of application areas now have many effective tools for working with geographically referenced data. In this case, we will take a practical approach to learning the fundamentals of GIS theories and to acquiring practical experience of using GIS software.

This class consists of two parts. The first half of the class will focus on building general GIS concepts and basic skills in GIS operations. We will be using ArcGIS, a widely used GIS software, as an example. The second half of the class will provide advanced GIS techniques and analytical procedures. There are, of course, other GIS software package available but ArcGIS was chosen for (1) the availability of campus-wide site license, and (2) high demands in GIS employment market.

With discussions of GIS fundamentals, we will cover topics such as the nature of geographic data and how they model the real world. We will examine various data models prevailing in GIS currently. We will investigate data models with regards to their associated uncertainty, potential errors, and ways to manage them. We will also review a suite of analytical methods commonly available in modern GIS software. With hands-on exercises, we will gain practical experience in using ArcGIS first hand. Tasks to be completed include creating, managing, editing, analyzing, and displaying geographic information.

After closely monitoring the employment markets of GIS for the past 12 years, I have concluded that I will teach you both practical skills and abstract theories. I will pay equal attention to classroom lectures and hands-on exercises. I will use the industrial standards, ArcGIS, for your learning experience in GIS. I will get you the course credits you work so hard for. In addition, you will have the option for getting a certificate for completing ArcGIS course, which is highly respected in the GIS job markets.

Students completing this course are expected to have learned the concepts for GIS data structure and management. Students are also expected to be able to handle various types of geographic information with a wide spectrum of spatial analytical tools available in GIS software.

What I want from you are the followings: (1) a determination of wanting to learn GIS and learn it well, (2) a willingness to spend time to review the lecture materials, to work on hands-on exercises, and to study those for quizzes and examinations; and (3) a positive, self-motivated attitude for learning GIS by going beyond what I discussed in class lectures. KSU has a fairly good collection of GIS literature if you explore it for your benefit. World Wide Web and Internet are at your finger tip if you spend time to dig around for new development in GIS.

Last Updated on August 27, 2004