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Courses : Syllabi : 584

Geography 584 Methods and Applications of GIS


Dr. Piotr Jankowski

Course Description

This course is the follow-up to the introductory GIS course, GEOG 484. The course is structured around lectures integrated with computer lab exercises to provide a learning experience about concepts, techniques, and applications of GIS. The course is taught at an intermediate level. Consequently, students are expected to have taken Geog 484 or its equivalent, and have an active interest in studying GIS methods and applications. The fundamental learning objectives for students in this course are to:

The course instructor will facilitate learning objectives through lectures and lab assignments. Each lecture will be accompanied by a lab. The lab assignments will include a scripted part and a challenge part. The scripted part will provide step-by-step instructions on how to solve an analytical task with GIS software and will not be evaluated. The challenge part will describe a task to be solved without providing step-by-step instructions and it will be evaluated. The solution of challenge task will be based on techniques introduced during the lecture and practiced in the scripted part of the lab. The challenge solution will be due prior to the start of next lab session (students will have up to one week to submit their solutions). Late submissions will not be accepted unless a valid excuse is presented to the lab TA prior to the due date (medical, family emergency, university-related field trip).


Geography 484 or Geography 587


There will be two exams (midterm and final) containing a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. Each exam is worth 25% of the final grade (25% midterm and 25% final). There will be thirteen challenge assignments worth 50% of the total grade. Students who score 85% or better on the midterm exam and achieve 90% or better for their lab work by the time of the midterm exam will have an option to develop an individual GIS project of their choice in lieu of the final exam.

A: 100%-90%
B: 89%-80%
C: 79%-70%
D: 69%-60%
F: 59% and less

Books and Materials

Required: Karl Chang, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, 5th Edition (McGrawHill, 2009). Includes a CD-ROM with exercise data sets (McGrawHill, 2009).
Andy Mitchell, The ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, Volume 2: Spatial Measurements and Statistics, (ESRI Press 2005).

Weekly Topics

Week Topic
Week One Vector Data Analysis
Week Two Raster Data Analysis
Week Three Terrain Mapping and Analysis
Week Four Viewsheds and Watershed
Week Five Geographic Distributions and Patterns
Week Six Midterm Review and Midterm Exam
Week Seven Geographic Clusters and Relationships
Week Eight Spatial Interpolation: Global and Local Methods
Week Nine Spatial Interpolation: Kriging
Week Ten Geocoding and Dynamic Segmentation
Week Eleven Path Analysis and Network Applications
Week Twelve Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis
Week Thirteen GIS Models and Modeling
Week Fourteen Final Exam Review

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.