Geospatial Science 250

GEOS 250
Introduction to GIS

1. Catalog Entry

GEOS 250
Introduction to GIS

Credit hours (4)

-Inverted Course Offering: Three hours lecture (online) and two hours of lab
-Online Course Offering: Three hours lecture (asynchronous online) and two hours of lab (asynchronous online) ***Instructor will be available at scheduled times for lab help.

Course is designed to introduce students to the general concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and how to use GIS across a wide variety of disciplines.

2. Detailed Description of Course

Students with learn fundamental mapping and geospatial analysis skills for a wide variety of disciplines and topics.  These fundamentals include geospatial data, components of a GIS, queries, overlays, basic spatial analysis, and data creation.  The format of the class balances lectures on the core principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with learning modules and labs on managing, processing, and interpreting geospatial data.  

Students will learn:
    1) History and background of GIS and Geospatial Technologies
    2) Software and trends in GIS with a focus on ArcGIS, but including others
    3) Data discovery (i.e. where to find data)
    4) The properties of spatial data
    5) The integration of spatial and non-spatial data (geospatial data)
    6) Attribute and spatial queries
    7) Overlay techniques
    8) How to create, edit and manipulate geospatial data
    9) How to research and answer questions using GIS and spatial analysis tools
    10) How to apply GIS to a broad range of scientific applications
    11) Product generation (hard copy maps and web maps)
3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies will include the following:
    1) Lectures on the fundamental aspects of the GIS.  Lectures will be available online.
    2) Lesson and learning modules that reinforce the essential aspects of GIS from the lectures and introduce various skills needed to use a GIS and present
    3) Laboratory exercises for students: each week students will complete one or more instructor-guided lab assignments, focusing on specific aspects of
        geospatial data discovery, GIS data analysis, manipulation and presentation.
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to demonstrate fundamental knowledge and/or practical skills in the realm of Geographic Information Systems.  This will include knowledge of the theoretical foundation of GIS, GIS applications areas, GIS user need requirements, GIS data considerations (including graphic and non-graphic data requirements), GIS manipulations and data analysis, and product generation from GIS.  The student will gain practical experiences in the use of GIS technologies as well as in the use of internet resources as related to GIS technologies.  An underlying objective is to provide the student with the opportunity to gain an appreciation of the truly multidisciplinary usage of GIS technologies.  GIS is a technology utilized not only by geographers, but also by scientists in other disciplines, researchers in numerous fields, and particularly by professionals in various business applications.

5. Assessment Measures

Student’s knowledge on the theoretical aspects presented in lectures and reading assignments will be tested in two midterms and one final exam.  Students’ applied work will be assessed based on the correct completion of the learning modules and lab assignments, and where applicable, on the quality of the output in form of maps, tables, and graphs.
6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

April 21, 2014        Rick Roth, Chair

February 12, 2010    Bernd H. Kuennecke, Chair

September 28, 2001    Bernd H. Kuennecke, Chair