GEOG 363 Geographic Information Systems

Summer, 1999: M, T, W, TH 10:30am – 12:45pm Room CSSC112

Instructor's Information:

Instructor: Fang Qiu
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 777-1282
Office: CSSC 006
Office Hours: M-TH, 1:30-2:30pm
Web Page:
Mirror Site:

Purpose of Course:

The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) concepts and practical laboratory experience with state-of-the-art software and hardware. By the end of the course, students should be able to perform many of the fundamental applications in GIS.


No prior experience with a GIS is required. Students are expected to have some elementary experience with using a personal computer with a "Windows" type environment (e.g. Windows 95, 98, NT, etc).


Required: Clarke, K. C. 1998. Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems, 2nd Edition (Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs)

Optional: ESRI, 1997, Getting to Know ArcView GIS: the geographic information system (GIS) for everyone. 2nd Edition (ESRI Press)

Course Presentation:

There will be 18 classes consisting of lectures and laboratories. Much of the lecture material will come from the required text. Optional text will be a good reference for the 9 labs. The labs will be given through handouts in the second half of the class on every Tuesday and Thursday. There will be a 15-minute short break from 11:30 to 11:45 in each class.


Grading Policy:

Exam #1 15%
Exam #2 20%
Lab 30%
Final Exam 25%
Class Attendance 10%

Labs. Each laboratory assignment will use ArcView 3 software to implement concepts discussed in the lecture assignments during the week. In many labs, students can complete the laboratory assignment during the 60 minutes (From 11:45 am to 12:45pm on every Tuesday and Thursday). In a few labs, students are expected to use additional time to complete the lab assignment. As always, students are encouraged to use laboratories to check and practice concepts learned during the course. Lab assignments are due 2 class days after assigned. Late labs will have 10% penalty for each day being late.

Exams. There are 3 exams in the courses. Each successive exam builds on material covered by previous exams; thus, each successive exam receives more weight. The final exam is a comprehensive exam covering all material in the course.

Class Attendance. Class roll will be taken randomly during the semester for lectures and during each laboratory meeting. Students missing will incur a 1% reduction in their final grade for each lecture/lab missed. The class attendance will count to 10% of the final score

Topics and Reference Reading (in the optional text):

Class notes, handouts and lab descriptions (in HTML format) will be distributed through the class web page. Two thirds (2/3) of the class were reorganized and modified from Clarke's book. You can also print them out from the class web site before the class. No hardcopy of class notes, handouts and lab descriptions will be provided by the instructor in the class. The hyperlinks for these materials will be activated below before each class lecture and laboratory meeting. It is free to print out in the GIS lab (CSSC 010).

Note: The schedule is tentative. It will be updated without notice, please check the schedule before each class.

1. Introduction of the Course and What is GIS? (6/6 Tuesday)

Course Introduction, What is GIS (Handouts)
History of GIS, Source of Information on GIS

Get Access to your account
Introduction to ArcView.

2. GIS Roots in Cartography (7/7 Wednesday)

Map and Attribute Information
Map Scale and Map Projections
Coordinate System
Geographic Information

3. Maps as Numbers (7/8 Thursday)

Representing Maps as Numbers
Structuring Attributes
Raster Data Model and Structure

Projections and Coordinate Systems

4. Maps as Numbers (cont.) (7/12 Monday)

Vector Data Model and Structure
Why Topology Matters
Formats for GIS Data,
Exchanging Data

5. Getting the Map into the Computer (7/13 Tuesday)

Analog-to-Digital Maps,
Find Existing Map

Exam Review

Data Models and Data Availability

6. First Exam (7/14 Wednesday)

First Exam

7. Getting the Map into the Computer (cont.) (7/15 Thursday)

Data Digitizing and Scanning
Field and Image Data

On-Screen Digitizing

8.Getting the Map into the Computer (cont.) (7/19 Monday)

Global Positioning System

Data Entry
Editing and Validation

9. What is Where? (7/20 Tuesday)

Basic Database Management
Search By Attribute

Attribute Data

10. What is Where? (cont.) (7/21 Wednesday)

Search by Geography
The Query Interface
Describing Attributes
Statistic Analysis

11. Why is it there? (7/22 Thursday)

Spatial Description
Spatial Analysis

Exam Review

GPS Locations and Simple Spatial Statistics

12. Second Exam (7/26 Monday)

Second Exam

13. Making Maps with GIS (7/27 Tuesday)

Spatial Relationship and GIS Analysis
The Parts of a Map

Lab7: Spatial Query and Analysis

14. Making Maps with GIS (cont.) and Geocoding (7/28 Wednesday)

Choosing a Map Type
Designing the Map
Geocoding: making a theme matchable (Ch26)
Address Matching

15. Network Analysis (7/29 Thursday)

Making Maps

Lab 9:
Geocoding by Address Matching

16. Geocoding (8/2 Monday)

Introduction to Network Analysis
Finding the best route (Ch28)
Finding the closest facility
Finding the service areas

17. Comprehensive Review (8/3 Tuesday)

Comprehensive Review
Class Evaluation

Lab 10:
Network Analysis (Extra Credit)

18. Customizing GIS (Guest Speaker) (8/4 Wednesday)

Introduction of Avenue (Ch27)
Creating the Custom application

Writing Avenue Scripts (Ch27)
Customizing the ArcView GIS interface
Testing the new interface

19. Final Exam (8/6 Friday, 10:30 p.m.)