Environmental Science, Policy & Engineering Program
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
|Professor||Dr. Ashraf Ghaly, P.E.|
|Tel., email||518-388-6515, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Lectures: TTH 9:00AM-10:45AM, WOLD-028. Labs: choose one on either T or TH 1:55PM-4:45PM, WOLD-028. (Click HERE for instructor's class presentations)
An introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and its practical uses. A full range of fundamental topics will be covered including the history of GIS, technology overview, geographic data types, primary data structures, system design, map coordinate systems, data sources, metadata, census data, geographic coding and address matching, digitizing, remote sensing imagery, measures of data quality, and needs assessment. An emphasis will be on hands-on instruction using GIS software (ArcGIS). Students will work with ArcGIS throughout the term to complete assignments and a class project. Focus areas include archaeology, electric and gas utilities, surveying, health and human services, insurance, law enforcement and criminal justice, media and telecommunications, transportation, water and wastewater, and natural resources. The ultimate goal is to use the spatial component of data in conducting analysis and making decisions. Two class hours and two lab hours weekly. Prerequisites: A good background in the use of modern computer software.
Assignments & Quizes = 20%
Labs = 20%
Mid Term Test (6th week) = 20%
Project GIST = 20%
Final Examination = 20%
|SCHEME OF FINAL GRADE|
|90+ = A||85+ = A(-)||80+ = B(+)||75+ = B||70+ = B(-)||65+ = C(+)||60+ = C||55+ = C(-)||50+ = D|
Gain an understanding of GIS principles.
Gain an introductory knowledge of popular GIS software tools.
Understand how to obtain spatial data from various sources.
Gain an introductory knowledge of GIS data analysis and modeling.
Use GIS tools in developing solutions to real world problems.
Practice spatial communication skills and use these skills in practical applications.
Assignment (1): Introduction & Coordinate Systems
Assignment (2): Georelational & Object-Based Vector Data Models
Assignment (3): Raster Data Model & Data Input
Assignment (4): Geometric Transformation & Spatial Data Editing
Assignment (5): Attribute Data Input and Management & Data Display and Cartography
Assignment (6): Data Exploration & Vector Data Analysis
Assignment (7): Raster Data Analysis & Terrain Mapping and Analysis
Assignment (8): Viewsheds and Watersheds & Spatial Interpolation
Assignment (9): Geocoding and Dynamic Segmentation, Path Analysis and Network Applications & GIS Models and Modeling
PROJECT GIS TREAT (GIST)
Project GIST is an exciting GIS-based project that gives the students the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge gained in this course. The project entails critical thinking of a problem with spatial nature in order to identify a solution that is based on a rationale involving convincing reasoning. Students are to work in teams of two partners. Team partners will receive the same grade in the project. It is left to the students to team up with partners with common areas of interest and who share ultimate terminal goals.
Each team of two partners is given absolute freedom in selecting the project subject they like to investigate and the problem they like to address. Students in this course come from various departments. Teams may wish to address in their project a problem that is closely related to their major since GIS is a tool which can be applicable to all sorts of problems. Students may also wish to explore a new field of interest or use a theme of a subject that has intrigued them. Students must realize, however, that finding the data required to work on their selected projects could be a problem. The data students are looking for may or may not exist, or it may be available in a format that makes the accomplishment of the task too difficult or non-feasible. Data availability could be a real hindrance and the scope of the selected project should be achievable with data that is possible to obtain. Students may also wish to make their own data using the techniques learned in class (creating a database, scanning, digitizing, or reduction/expansion of existing data).
In the sixth week of the term, each team is required to submit a progress report. This should include the names of the partners, title of the project, a statement describing the subject, methodology to be used in the analysis, flow chart showing the steps to be used in implementing the solution, and anticipated final outcome. The instructor will provide feedback and approve the project subject if it involves the expected level of rigor.
In the ninth week of the term, each team is expected to submit the following:
1. A report disseminating all the information related to the project including the problem it attempted to address, data used, data source(s), analytical approach, results of analysis, and conclusions.
2. The report should contain any and all relevant information including illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, maps, and models used in the analysis.
The grading criteria will place equal weight on the following components:
1. Level of sophistication in addressing the project subject.
2. Methodology used in the analysis.
3. Accuracy and validity of analytical approach.
4. Critical thinking used in identifying a solution and reaching conclusions.
5. Project presentation as described below.
In the tenth week of the term, each team will be required to make a class presentation of their project. Teams are expected to show fully functional projects including ArcGIS demonstration. Each presentation will be followed by questions and answers period.
Recognition and Opportunities:
1. The instructor will sponsor the top three projects for presentation at Union College's Steinmetz Symposium and other local, regional, or national venues.
2. The instructor will sponsor the top-rated project for presentation at local, regional, or national conferences.
3. The instructor will nominate the top-rated project for the Ashraf M. Ghaly Geo Research Prize which is awarded annually and includes a cash prize.
Professor Ghaly Homepage Union College Homepage