Information Technology 250

ITEC 250: Introduction to GIS

Cross-Listed: GEOS 250

Credit Hours: (4)

Course is designed to introduce students in geography as well as students from other disciplines working with the general concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Course will teach the theory and involve the practical use of GIS and geospatial data.

Detailed Description of Content of Course:

a. General Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
       i.   Definition of GIS in current and historical context
       ii.  Overview of professional/disciplines currently utilizing GIS technologies
       iii. Major GIS application areas
b. The principal components of current GIS technologies
       i.   Hardware/software environments
       ii.  GIS data requirements (general: graphic and non-graphic)
       iii. Output generation
c. GIS Data Elements
       i.   Graphic data (map features)
       ii.  Maps and projections (fundamental issues)
       iii. Non-graphic data (attributes, tabular)
d. Vector and Raster data in GIS
e. Database management systems for GIS data (an overview)
f.  GIS Data Manipulation and Analysis
      i.   Geographic extraction of selected data
      ii.   GIS query functions
      iii.  Adjacency and proximity analysis
g. Product Generation (hardcopy, .pdf, jpg)

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course :

Instructional strategies will include the following:

a.. Lectures on the theoretical aspects (traditional lectures, supported by computer graphics presentations and demonstrations where appropriate. Lectures will be available to students in class in outline form; full lectures will be made available through internet.
b. Demonstrations will include the –in-class demonstrations of a working PC-based GIS, as well as demonstrations on accessing digital databases on the Internet.
c. Computer-assisted instruction will involve students using a GIS and digital databases. Students will work as individuals as well as members of small groups (three to five students).
d. Laboratory exercises for students: Students will use instructions and data sets to work through various applications of GIS technologies, ranging form simple analysis to overlays, proximity analysis, use of Digital Elevation Models as data sources, etc.

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 GISs, 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 GISs. 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.

Assessment Measures:

Student’s knowledge on the theoretical aspects presented in lectures and reading assignments will be tested in two written examinations. Students’ applied work will be assessed on the basis of the correct completion of the practical assignments, and, where applicable, on the quality of the output in form of maps, tables, and graphs.  

Other Course Information:

Approval and subsequent reviews:

9/28/01 Proposed and Approved:  Bernd H. Kuennecke
2/12/2010, reviewed, updated, and approved:  Bernd H. Kuennecke