Spring 2000                                                                                                               Dr Ronald Briggs

GR 2.508/GR3.206                                                                                                              GR 3.126

Mon/Wed—5:30-6:15 p.m.                                                       972-883-6877 (o), 972-690-3442 (h)

http://www.utdallas.edu/~briggs/poec6381.html                                            e-mail:briggs@utdallas.edu

Office hours (in GR 3.126 or 3.206):

Mon 4:45-5:30; Tues/Thurs  3:00-4:00; Wed 6:15-6:45

& by appointment or drop-in

                                                                    POEC 6381

                                      Introduction to Geographic Information Systems


This course introduces Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications. These systems are becoming the core of local  (city, county) government operations, are being rapidly adopted by state and federal governments to manage operations from highway planning to environmental resource conservation, and are playing a major role in businesses as diverse as market research, site selection, real estate, civil engineering, and geophysical exploration. Additionally, academic research in disciplines ranging from the Social Sciences to Geoscience is using GIS to expand research possibilities and productivity. In the vernacular, they are one of the killer apps. of the nineties, with substantial potential for further development and application.


GIS is a combination of software and hardware with capabilities for manipulating, analyzing and displaying spatially-referenced information--that is, information which is referenced by its location on the earth's surface. By linking data to maps, a GIS can reveal relationships not apparent with traditional item-referenced information systems and data base management products, and by displaying information in a graphic form can communicate complex spatial patterns succinctly. This course will introduce the concepts needed to use GIS effectively and correctly, and develop basic proficiency in GIS software usage. Examples will primarily focus on urban and regional analysis, though business, environmental and geological applications will also be included.


The course will comprise both lecture and lab. The lab component will focus on the  use of  ArcView (Version 3.2) software in a Windows NT environment in the Green Computer Lab (GR3.206). (The software will not be available in the university’s McDermott Microcomputer lab.)  Should you desire your own copy, it is available at a student price of $250 (Version 3.1) from ESRI, Inc. (call 1-800-447-9778 to order). Alternatively, you may borrow a copy of the software from UTD for use on your machine at home for this course only, providing you agree to the terms of the loan.


This course is one of a series for the Certificate in GIS at the University of Texas at Dallas; five courses are needed to receive the certificate.


There are no formal prerequisites, however students will be expected to have competence in microcomputer use and familiarity with Microsoft Windows 95/98 and file management (directories, subdirectories, copying, etc). Evaluation will be based upon a midterm exam (35%), final exam (40%), and five lab projects (25%).  Although some class time will be allocated to lab instruction, additional computing work outside of scheduled classes, will be necessary for successful course completion.

Readings and Schedule—SPRING 2000


Course Texts

DeMers, Michael Fundamentals of GIS (New York: John Wiley, 2nd ed. 1999, or 1st ed 1997 )

ESRI, Using ArcView GIS—Version 3  Edition  (Redlands, CA: ESRI, Inc., 1996) (optional)



Other GIS Texts

Keith C. Clarke Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems (Upper

     Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997)

Star, J. and John Estes Geographical Information Systems: An Introduction  (Prentice Hall 1990)

Martin, David Geographic Information Systems: Socioeconomic Applications (London: Routledge, 2nd. ed., 1996

Chrisman, Nicholas Exploring Geographic Information Systems (New York: John Wilet, 1997)


Other Books on ArcView

Getting to Know ArcView (Geoinformation International, 1997 2nd ed. for Ver. 3)

Hutchinson, Scott and Daniel, L. Inside ARCVIEW GIS (Santa Fe, NM: Onward Press, 2nd ed. 1996)

Hohl, Pat and Mayo, Brad  ArcView Exercise Book (Version 3) (Santa Fe, NM: Onward Press, 1997)

Razavi, Amir ArcView GIS/Avenue Developer’s Guide (Santa Fe, NM: Onward Press, 1997)

(To purchase books from Onward Press, call:  1-800-223-6397)


Supplementary Materials

Huxhold, William E. An Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems  (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991)

Longley, Paul A., Michael Goodchild, David J. Maguire, David W. Rhind Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications (Cambridge, England: GeoInformation International, 1998) (2nd  ed.  of Maguire, Goodchild and Rhind).

Maguire, David J., Michael Goodchild and David W. Rhind Geographical Information Systems: Principles and Applications (Harlow, England: Longman, 1991)

Peuquet, Donna J. and Duane Marble Introductory Readings in Geographic Information Systems (London: Taylor and Francis, 1990)


Course Schedule

(note: all Let’s do it sessions will be held in the computer lab, GR 3.206)

(note: http:\\www.utdallas.edu\~briggs\poec6381.html has links to all on-line materials)

Jan 12,19:        What's GIS and Where's It Used?

                                    DeMers  Chap 1

                                    Cowen, David  GIS versus CAD versus DBMS: what are the differences? from Peuquet and Marble, pp. 52-61 (5985)           

                                    Longley, Paul A., Michael Goodchild, David J. Maguire, David W. Rhind Introduction in, Longley, et.al. 1998 pp. 1-20 (9226)

                                    Forer, P., and D.J. Unwin Enabling Progress in GIS and Education. in. Longley, et.al. 1998 pp         747 (9230)

                                    Goodchild What is GIS? @


                        Application Examples (read/scan, as convenient, according to your interests):

                                    American Planning Association, Planning:  Special Issue on Technology, July, 1995, 1-15 (5988)

                                    Huxhold, Chap. 3: Application of Urban Geographic Information Systems.

                                    National League of Cities Planning Smarter: GIS as a Tool for Policy Makers, 1993 (6031)

                                    Carr, T.R. Managing GIS in the Public Sector Chapter 12 in Garson, G.D. Information Technology and Computer Applications in Public Administration Hershey, PA: Idea Group, 1999 (10186)

                                    Geological Society of America, Development of Geographic Information Systems-Oriented Databases for Integrated Geological and Geophysical Applications, GSA Today, March 1996 (7065)

                                    Business Geographics, January, 1996:  Merging Technologies: EIS and Business Geographics (p. 34-36)  &  Boosting Sales Performance with Statistics: A Healthcare Case Study  (p. 37-39) (7063)

                                    Thrall, Grant Ian GIS Applications in Real Estate and Related Industries, Journal of Housing Research, Vol. 9 #1, 1998 pp. 33-59  (9589)

                                    Queralt, M and Witte, A. D. A Map for You? Geographic Information Systems in the Social Services Social Work Vol. 43, Sept. 1998 455-469 (9588)

                                    Calkins, H. and Eagles, M. Geographic Information Analysis and Human Capital Research. A Report to NSF and HUD on a Conference in Boulder, CO, July, 1995 (8310)

                                    Waddell, Paul and Shukla, V. Employment Dynamics, Spatial Restructuring and the Business Cycle  Geographical Analysis, 1993 (Vol. 25, p. 35-52) (research study based on D/FW)  (7066)                           

Jan 24, 28:       GIS Fundamental Concepts

                                    DeMers Chap 2 pp. 21-31

                                    USGS:  Geographic Information Systems brochure  (6032)

                                    Black, James D. Fusing RDBMS and GIS  GIS World July 96,  44-47 (7067)

Jan 31              Let's do it: Intro. to ARCVIEW GIS Software

     Feb 2, 7                  Using ArcView GIS, Chap. 2; also parts of Chap. 5,6,7,10

Feb 9 ,14, 17   Terrestrial Data Structures

                                    DeMers Chap. 2, pp. 31-39; Chap 3, 50-68

                                    Using ArcView GIS  Chap. 9

                                    Map Projections (USGS brochure)

                                    Dana, Peter H. Coordinate Systems Overview @

            http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/education/curricula/giscc/units/u013/u013_f.html   OR


                                    Kirvan, Anthony Latitude and Longitude @


                                    Dana, Peter H. The Shape of the Earth/ Geodetic Datums @

            http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/education/curricula/giscc/units/u015/u015_f.html    OR


                                    Dana, Peter H Map Projections


                                    Veregin, Howard Data Quality Measuremnt and Assessment @


Feb 14             Project #1 due: Customer Characteristics and DayCare Location

Feb 21, 23, 28 GIS Data Structures

                                    DeMers Chap 4, Chap. 7, Chap. 11, 297-321

                                    Using ArcView GIS   Chap 22

                                    Goodchild,  Rasters @


                                    Goodchild, Quadtrees and Scan Orders @


                                    Martin, D.J. Spatial Representation: the Social Scientist's Perspective in Longley, et.al. 1998 pp. 71-80 (9228)

                                    Hutchinson, M.F and J.C. Gallant Representation of Terrain in Longley, et.al. 1998 pp 105-124  (9229)

                                    Peuquet, Donna J. A Conceptual Framework and Comparison of Spatial Data Models, in Peuquet and Marble, pp. 250-285 (optional)  (7077) 

Feb 28             Project #2 due: Texas Population Demographics

Mar. 1             Midterm Exam

Mar 6, 8           Spring Break. No classes!

Mar 13             Let’s do it:  Geocoding

Mar 15             GIS Software Sources

                                    Thrall, S. E. and Thrall G.I. Desktop GIS Software, in Longley, et. Al. 1998. Pp 331-345 (9227)                   

Mar 20, 22       GIS Data Sources

                                    DeMers  Chap 5,

                                    USGS,  US Geodata (brochure) (6033)

                                    Keating, John B. The Geopositioning Selection Guide for Resource Management, Technical Note # 389, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, September, 1993  (6045)

                                    Fisher, P.F. Spatial Data Sources and Data Problems, in Maguire, Goodchild and Rhind, Chap 13 (Vol. 1, p.175)  (5987)

                                    Dana, Peter GPS @


Mar 27            Project #3 due: Geocoding

Mar 27             Lets do it: Internet Data Sources and Acquisition

Mar 29, Apr 3  Data Preparation and  Integration

                                    DeMers Chap. 6, Chap 10

                                    Using ArcView GIS Chap.18 thru 21

                                    Dowman, I.J. Encoding and Validating Data from Maps and Images in Longley, et.al. 1998 pp 437- 

                                    Flowerdew, R. Spatial Data Integration, in Maguire, Goodchild and Rhind, Chap 24 (Vol. 1, p. 375) (5986)

Apr. 5              Lets do it: Data Editing and Topological Structures

Apr 10, 12       Analysis and Modeling in GIS

                        DeMers Chap 2, pp. 43-48, Chap. 8, 9, 12, 13

                                    Using ArcView GIS Chap. 12 thru 17

                                    Drummond, William J. Address Matching: GIS Technology for Mapping Human Activity Patterns American Planning Association Journal, Spring, 1995  p. 240-251 (7077)

                                    Landis, John D. Imagining Land Use Futures: Applying the California Urban Futures Model,  American Planning Association Journal, Autumn, 1995  (Vol. 61 pp. 438-457) (7069)

                                    Hazelton, N.W.J, Leahy, F.J.  Integrating Dynamic Modelling and Geographic Information Systems, URISA Journal,  Fall, 1992  47-58 (7072)

Apr 17             Project #4 due: Creating a Layer: Tracts for  Dallas

Apr 17             GIS Outputs  and Application Examples

                                    DeMers Chap 3, 68-80, Chap 14

                                    Making Better Maps, selections from  Business Geographics (7071)

                                    Hodler,  T.W.  Do Geographers Really Need to Know Cartography? Urban Geography, 1994 p. 409-410 (7074)

                        Business Applications: market analysis, site selection, routing

                        Municipal Applications: land record management, citizen information

                        Environmental Applications: resource monitoring and geological modeling

                        Scan  GeoWorld (formerly GIS World), Geo Info Systems, EOM (Earth Observation Magazine), GIM, Business Geographics, URISA Journal  for examples.

Apr 19             Lets do it: Spatial Analyses

Apr 24             Lets do it: DEMS and 3D Displays

Apr 26, May 1 The Future of GIS and Some Dissenting Perspectives

                                    Goodchild and Longley The Future of GIS and Spatial Analysis in Longley, et. Al. 1998 pp 567-580 (10315)

                                    Spohrer, J.C. Information in Places IBM Systems Journal (Vol 34, #4, 1999 p602-628

                                    Goss, Jon “We Know Who You Are and We Know Where You Live”: The Instrumental Rationality of Geodemographic Systems,  Economic Geography , April 1995 (Vol. 71 p. 171-198) (7073)

                                    Sui, Daniel Z. GIS and Urban Studies: Positivism, Post-Positivism, and Beyond   Urban Geography, 1994 (vol. 15, p. 258-278) (7076)

May 1             Project #5 due: Pipelines through the City

May 3             Final Exam: Any 2 hour slot from 5:00-9:00 on Wednesday May 3.  (Note: the official exam time published in the Class Schedule is 5:00 pm Friday May 5. Students unable to make the revised time should contact me on or before April 26.)


Using ArcView GIS : its relationship with the Lab. Projects


The Using ArcView GIS text is primarily intended to help you with the lab projects, which give you hands on experience with ArcView. It is a printed version of the on-line Help system in ArcView. How you use this text (if at all) is a personal decision. You might like to work through the examples in this book before tackling the projects. Or you may prefer to jump in with projects, using the book as a reference. Below is a very general guide to the chapters as they relate to each Project.

Project 1: Daycare location: Chap. 2, parts of 5,6,7,10 (purpose: general introduction)

Project 2: Texas Demographics: Chap. 3,4,6,10 (purpose: map creation and layouts)

Project 3: Housing Sales: Chap 5,8 (purpose: geocoding, graphing)

Project 4: Census Tracts: Chap 18, 20,22 (purpose: spatial editing and data preparation)

Project 5: Pipeline: Chap 11, 12, 13, 14 (purpose: drawing and analysis)



A Note on Editions. The text Using ArcView GIS was first released for version 3.0 of ArcView software. We are now using ArcView Version 3.1 of the software and may upgrade to 3.2 during Fall, 1999 when it is released. New editions of the text have not been published. Changes are documented in the What's New brochures, copies of which are in the lab.


A Note on Project Numbers: The projects have been re-ordered for this semester. In some Web and printed materials, you may find reference to different numbers.