Geography 265. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Required Course Materials
2| Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users, Cynthia Brewer
3| ESRI Help for ArcGIS 10 Desktop
4| ESRI Online GIS Dictionary
5| USB Flashdrive (Recommended 2GB minimum)
Course Description and Focus
This course will introduce you to concepts and the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a powerful tool that allows users to compile, analyze, and distribute geographic data electronically. We will focus on the use of the desktop GIS software package ArcGIS (version 10) from ESRI Corporation. ArcGIS requires both an understanding of the computer program and geography. Because of this, I will be reviewing some basic spatial concepts in class prior to diving into ArcGIS software, as well as more specific GIS concepts. These concepts include: scale, map projections, locational reference systems, the nature of geographic data, and basic mapmaking techniques.
This course is taught in a computer lab, and is largely lecture and lab-based. The lectures introduce or review GIS concepts, while the labs are designed to assist in learning techniques for conducting spatial analysis. In addition, all students will complete a final project as a way to apply what is learned throughout the course. The final project is structured to cater to your individual interests.
There will also be times when we discuss concepts and techniques as a group. All students are expected to come to class prepared to think, observe, and participate in both discussions and labs. Active participation enhances the learning process for all group members, and will be considered more favorably at grading time. I look forward to learning with all of you.
Assignments and Grading
Labs - 45% - This includes labs to be done both in and out of class. There are a total of 7 labs in the class, which are due on the Tuesday following the week they are assigned (i.e. Lab 1 is assigned during week 1 and is due Tuesday of week 2).
Midterm - 20% - This exam is a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and hands-on application. It will include all the content and materials covered from the beginning of the term.
Final Project - 25% - The final project integrates various skills from the course. The specific guidelines and requirements will be introduced after the midterm. You will be expected to work on this project both in and out of class. There is flexibility built into the final projects so that each student pursues a topic of their choice.
Participation - 10%- This includes attendance, participation in class activities and discussions, and general enthusiasm for the course content.
Final grades will be based on the following scale: A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), and F (below 60).
Backing Up Your Work!
*Course schedule is subject to change and will be updated throughout the quarter.
Jan 27 / 29
Lecture. Projected Coordinate Systems
Feb 24 / 26
Lecture. Data Visualization
March 3 / 5
Lecture. Advanced Map Design
March 10 / 12
Work on Final Projects
Final Project Presentations
DUE: Lab 6 (02.19.15)
DUE: First Drafts of Multnomah County Maps (03.05.15)
DUE: Lab 7 (03.10.15)
DUE: Final Projects
'How To' Submit an Assignment
2| Do not include any of the lab instructions in your document. Include only the question numbers and text, your answers, and any exported maps.
3| Submit a single document in PDF format. (If creating your document in MS Word, save as a PDF file.)
4| The subject line of your email should reflect the assignment name. For example: Lab1
Participation in class is 10% of your grade, which requires that you are in attendance. It will be difficult to keep up with the class material if you do not attend class regularly. If you need to miss class or leave class early, talk to me beforehand to make arrangements. If you have a personal problem that is inhibiting your performance in this class, please come talk to me as soon as possible so that we can discuss options to make your efforts in this class successful.
Plagiarism is “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work (Dictionary.com).” This is unacceptable. Cheating is also unacceptable. If you have any questions about the college’s academic policy, see pages 9-11 of the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, online at http://www.pcc/edu/about/policy/student-rights/student-rights.pdf.
Students with Disabilities
PCC is committed to supporting all students. If you plan to use academic accommodations for this course, please contact your instructor as soon as possible to discuss your needs. Accommodation are not retroactive; they begin when the instructor receives the "Approved Academic Accommodations" letter from you (submitted in person for courses on campus; via email for DL courses). To request academic accommodations for a disability, please contact a disability services counselor on any PCC campus. Office locations, phone numbers, and additional information may be found at http://www.pcc.edu/resources/disability