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  • Introduction to GIS Course Schedule - Fall 2011
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Day

Date

Class Topic

Readings / Ungraded Exercises

Assignments Due

Tue 

9/6 

GIS overview, course overview, lab and software logistics

none

 

Thur

9/8 

In-class tutorial: ArcGIS Basics-Somerville - see links on ArcGIS Tutorials and Tip Sheets

ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, ch. 1


Tue

9/13 

Discuss GIS practice and research examples

Look at GIS Application Areas (on the Tufts GIS web site) and read at least one of the articles cited in those web pages (or another article you find on your own about applying GIS to answer a question) and be prepared to discuss it in class. Think specifically about what types of questions the researchers are asking, spatial and otherwise.

 

Thur

9/15

Data Sources - finding, assessing and using existing spatial data
Data Download Practice (in class)

Please review the GISTA Data Sources web site (look specifically at the Online Data Catalog link to see examples of major data clearinghouses and the Online Data by Topic for data in your area of interest. For city/region specific data, check the subcategory - US Cities and Metropolitan Regions). Also look at the MassGIS web site (drill down the the download data link and look through this)

Assignment 1 - Project Area Interests and Spatial Questions (10 points) - due Friday, 9/16

Tue

9/20 

Making maps - reference mapping and thematic mapping

Read Assignment 2 and ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, Ch. 2.
Also read our Cartography Tips and Creating and Editing Scale bars and Legends tip sheets. .

Optional: ESRI Map Book Gallery  

 

Thur

9/22

Making maps - finish up ArcGIS map tools discussion; discuss mapping quantities

ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, ch. 3

Wilson, Ronald. 2011. Visualizing Racial Segregation Differently — Exploring Changing Patterns From the Effect of Underlying Geographic Distributions. Cityscape 13(2)


Tue

9/27 

Working with US Census data in GIS

In class MassGIS Census mapping\ exercise

Look over the Census Product overviews available here, and also look at the Census Web Site (http://www.census.gov/)

Assignment 2- (10 points) due Tuesday, 9/27

Thur

9/29 

Census discussion continued


Review ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, Ch. 3; if possible, have the census data you will be mapping in Assignment 3 ready to work on in class. See either Census Tutorial 1-MassGIS or Census Tutorial 2 (rest of the US) depending on your geographic area. We also have a tip sheet for Using American Factfinder to acquire GIS compatible data

Also, please explore Color Brewer - this site can be very helpful in determining a good color scheme.

 

Tue

10/4 

Census discussion continued

Exercise: Using the New American FactFinder\

Look through one of the following articles - they are good examples of using census data in spatial analysis:

 

Thur 

10/6 

Finish up Census discussion and review of American Fact Finder 



none
Resources for understanding sampling error

Assignment 3 - Working with Census Data(10 points) - due Friday, 10/7

Tue 

10/11 

Understanding data quality 

Exploring Data Quality Excercise\
 

Maantay, J. 2007. Asthma and air pollution in the Bronx: Methodological and data considerations in using GIS for environmental justice and health researchHealth and Place, 13 (1), pp. 32-56 (focus on issues of data quality and methodological decisions - we will be discussing these in class) 

Read Assignment 4

 

Thur

10/13

Using address data in GIS (geocoding) 
In class exercise - Geocoding Reference USA Data

 

Tue 

10/18 

Geocoding wrap-up - parcel geocoding, working with unmatched records

none

 

Thur

10/20

Data structures - vector and raster



None

Assignment 4 - GIS data quality assessment (10 points) - due Friday, 10/21

Tue

10/25

Basic queries using selection functions; summarizing data

look over Assignment 5 - Basic Queries


ArcGIS 10 Help - various selection methods - start with Selecting Features Interactively and then look at the other methods (Select by Location, Select by Attribute, Select by Graphic, Working with Selected Features.

 

Thur

10/27

Map projections and coordinate systems

Watch this clip from The West Wing - "Why are we changing maps?"

References for Map Projections and Coordinate Systems from ArcGIS 10 Help - Professional Library - Guidebook - Map Projections:


Tue

11/1

Coordinate system trouble-shooting

Read the intro to the Trouble Shooting Coordinate Systems in-class exercise

 

Thur

11/3

Coordinate systems continued

 

Assignment 5 - Basic Queries(10 points)- due Friday, 11/4

Tue

11/8

No class

 

 

Thur 

11/10  

Spatial Analysis - Understanding Overlays

ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, Ch. 5 - Finding What's Inside

ArcGIS Help - Solving Spatial Problems - please read all three sections and look at the examples and figures.

Assignment 6 - Project Description and Data Documentation(10 points) - due Friday, 11/11

Tue

11/15  

Spatial Analysis - Joins and overlays using vector data sets

Read through the following two sections from ArcGIS 10 Help - Geoprocessing

 

Thur

11/17 

Proximity functions and overlay combined

ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, vol 1 -Ch. 6 - Mapping What's Nearby

In class - China Wind Farm Maintenance Facility Suitability Mapping Exercise\

 

Tue

11/22

Proximity and Overlay tools continued

Look at the Portland (OR) Regional Equity Atlas - read the Methodology chapter, and one other topical chapter of interest, and view some of the maps.

In class exercise - Nuclear Power Plant Risk and Planning Analysis\


Thurs

11/24

Thanksgiving - no class

 

 

Tue

11/29

Mapping density - raster and vector tools


ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, vol 1 -Ch. 4 - Mapping Density


Thur

12/1

Poster Design Workshop

Please explore Color Brewer - this is a good site for helping you to determine a good color scheme.

All materials for the poster design workshop online on our GIS Poster Guidance site.

Assignment 7 - Analysis Flow Diagram / Process Steps (10 points) - due Friday, 12/2

Tue 

12/6 

In class project work 

None

 

Thur

12/8 

Course wrap-up -  course evaluations

None

Final posters/papers   (30 points)
Upload by 5pm, Friday, December 16

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