GISC 6382 Applied GIS Spring 2008
Professor Contact Information
Dr. Ronald Briggs office: GR 3.212 firstname.lastname@example.org (I do not use WebCT for contact)
972-884-6877 (office) (e-mail is preferred over phone contact) 972-345-6918 (cell, if urgent)
Office hours: Tues/Th ; Wed and by appointment or drop-in
Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions
GISC 6381 GIS Fundamentals is a prerequisites, and students will be expected to have competence in microcomputer use, familiarity with MS Windows 95/98/2000/XP (file management (directories, subdirectories, copying, etc), MS Word, MS Excel and Internet usage.
This course further develops hands-on skills with industry-standard GIS software beyond the level acquired in GISC 6381 GIS Fundamentals, which is a pre-requisite for this course, for application in a wide variety of areas including urban infrastructure management, marketing and location analysis, environmental management, geologic and geophysical analysis and the social sciences.
In particular, it aims to make the transition from GIS as a descriptive, data management tool to GIS as an analytical research tool for drawing policy-relevant conclusions from vector data. To a degree, it is a companion course to GISC 6384 Spatial Analysis which focuses on raster data. Upon completion of Applied GIS, you should have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of a modern GIS software environment and the necessary applied skills to independently complete a GIS project including establishing objectives, reviewing literature and/or practices elsewhere, identifying, acquiring, converting and integrating the required data, creating GIS layers (themes) in multiple different formats, editing, correcting and modifying GIS layers, conducting geographic analyses, customizing software applications, and drawing and presenting legitimate conclusions and results. These skills will be essential for completing work in other courses in the geographical information sciences curriculum at UTD and for conducting GIS projects “in the real world”.
Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes
Upon completing this class, students will be able to:
Required Textbooks and Materials
O’Sullivan and David J. Unwin Geographic Information
Zeiler, Modeling our World:
The ESRI Guide to Database Design ESRI:
Evaluation will be based upon a set of three assigned projects (one each broadly associated with Mapping, Editing, and Analysis, for a total of 30%), a fourth (final), student-selected research project (25%), and a hands-on computer based “mid-term” exam (45%). Additionally, there will be seven smaller exercises which must be completed but will not be “handed-in” or graded. In all cases, students are expected to hand in work they have accomplished themselves. Because of the great variability possible with ArcGIS, no two student products should be identical or almost identical. You should be aware that assignments may require a substantial amount of work outside of class time. Some work will require use of the ARCInfo software level which is not available for use at home so this work must be conducted in the GIS lab on campus. Students who fail the hands-on exam will be given an opportunity to re-take the exam. If they fail a second time, they will receive no better than a C in the course.
Course & Instructor Policies
(make-up exams, extra credit, late work, special assignments, class attendance, classroom citizenship, etc.)
Exams will be at the times indicated below. Students unable to attend must inform the instructor ahead of time in which case an accomodation will be attempted for verifiable problems. Exercises are expected to be handed in on the due dates specified below; an occasional delay will be acceptable providing it does not extend beyond the time that exercises are returned to other students (normally one week following the due date). Exercises handed in after that time will be credited, at a maximum, with the lowest score received by a student in the class.
Assignments & Academic Calendar
(Topics, Reading Assignments, Due Dates, Exam Dates)
A complete set of documentation for 9.1 is available on the P:\ drive in the lab at:
Differences between 9.1 and 9.2 are documented at:
A .pdf file containing similar information is available at:
This has also been downloaded to the P:\ drive.
There are also some changes incorporated into service packs, the latest (as of 1/2/08) is SP4:
(class topics may be modified but exam date will remain fixed)
Jan. 8/9 GIS Data Types and Structures using ArcCatalog
Lab: Ex 1—Using ArcCatalog (ex1_arccat.doc)
Jan. 15/16 GIS Data Processing using ArcToolbox and Modelbuilder
Lab: Ex 2 see arctoolbox.doc
Reference/Reading: Zeiler Chap 3,4;
Jan 22/23 Spatial Analysis using ArcMap
Lab: Project 1 Toxic Site Analysis (proj1_arcmap.doc)
Reference/Reading: O&U pp17-45; Zeiller Chap 2, 11; arcmap.ppt
Jan 29/30 Analyzing Tables using ArcMap
Lab: Project 1 Toxic Site Analysis (contd)
Feb. 5/6 Georeferencing Project 1 due
Lab: Ex3—Georeferencing ex3_georef.doc
Reference/Reading: O&U Chap. 10
Feb 12/13 CAD Conversion
Lab: Ex 4—CAD Conversion
Reference/Reading: Zeiler Chap 5, 6, 7
Feb 19/20 Creating & Editing Geodata: Geodatabases, Line Editing and Line Topology
Lab: Project 2 City Data Layer Creation (proj2_edit.doc)
http://gis.nctcog.org/presentations/Carter_Burgess.swf (powerpoint on developing database for storm water)
Feb 26/27 Networks and Network Modeling
Lab: Ex5—Networks (ex5_networks.doc)
Reference/Reading: Zeiler Chap. 8. O&U Chap. 6
Mar 4/5 Polygon Processing and Analysis Project 2 due
Lab: Project 3 Census Data Analysis
Reference/Reading: O&U Chap. 3
March 11/12 Spring Break Begin Final Project!!!
Tues Mar 18/19 Hands-on Exam, both sections, 4:00pm or 7:00pm
Mar 25/26 Surfaces and Surface Generation
Lab: Ex 8 Surfaces (ex8_surfaces.doc)
Reference/Reading: Zeiler Chap 10 O&U Chap. 8,9
Apr 1/2 Customizing ArcGIS:
Lab: Ex 6—Customization (ex6_custom.doc)
April 8/9 Point Pattern Analysis and Spatial Statistics I Project 3 due
April 15/16 Point Pattern Analysis and Spatial Statistics II
April 22/23 Point Pattern Analysis and Spatial Statistics III
Tuesday April 29 Make-up exam. 4:00. Both classes.
Wed May 7 Final Project due
Field Trip Policies
Off-campus Instruction and Course Activities: Not applicable to this course
Student Conduct & Discipline
A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.
The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.
Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary proceedings.
Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.
Withdrawal from Class
The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog. Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.
Student Grievance Procedures
Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.
In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”). Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.
Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.
Incomplete Grade Policy
As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.
The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, ; Tuesday and Wednesday, ; and Friday,
The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)
Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an assignment requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes enrolled students with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or mobility assistance.
It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations. Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.
Religious Holy Days
The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment.
If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.
These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.