onGEO Professional Certificate Course: ONGEO-N002.(34), Geographic Information Systems

Spring 2017, Second Session: Syllabus

Instructor: Yi Shi, shiyi1@msu.edu

Course Description:

Geographic Information Systems is a mid-level course that explores technical and theoretical issues in the design, implementation, and use of GIS for research and applications. Students will learn the structure of a GIS (specifically, ArcGIS), how spatial analysis is performed using GIS, and the many applications of GIS in diverse academic and professional fields. Students will also learn about the ethical considerations regarding using geographic datasets. Lab exercises familiarize students with 1) using geographic information systems in the analysis and display of geographic information and 2) the principles and methods of spatial data collection, analysis, and display.

Course Audience:

Professionals or graduate students who are currently working in fields that use geospatial technologies and pursuing training opportunities (required or by choice), professionals and post-baccalaureates looking to advance or revamp their current career path, teachers pursuing continuing-education credits, and international students seeking an educational experience and certification from an American university.

Course Goals:

  1. Develop students' spatial perspective, in other words, their understanding of and appreciation for the contributions of spatial analysis to problem-solving;
  2. Teach the connection between spatial relationships and GIS analysis; and
  3. Provide numerous opportunities for students to perform GIS analysis for a variety of geographic scenarios.

 

Course Learning Outcomes (Objectives):

With the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

Course Requirements and Recommendations:

Required

•    Textbook: Geographic Information Systems and Science, 4th Edition by Paul A. Longley, Mike Goodchild, David J. Maguire, and David W. Rhind, 2016. Wiley. (ISBN: 978-1-118-67695-0). Available in paperback and e-book versions.

o    A copy of the textbook is on reserve in the MSU library for those students in the nearby area.

•    Technological:

o    Computer – A PC or Mac can be used to access D2L for lesson material. Microsoft Windows is required for all online labs (in order to log into the remote server); check the directions for each lab. You cannot work on the labs with a Mac unless it is running Windows.

o    Web browser -- Preferably Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Use of other browsers may lead to quiz and lab malfunctions.

o    Applications/plugins (see the Computer Setup page for details; all lab applications are provided through the course remote server, called “Desoto”).

•    General:

o    You are required to complete each lesson and are responsible for all of its associated components (for example, web links, lesson questions, text readings, assignments, labs, self-assessments, and so on).

o    You are also required to take the assessments and submit your responses to labs ON TIME. Please contact your instructor if you have circumstances that prevent you from submitting the assignments by their due date to work out an alternate date.

Highly recommended

•    HIGH-SPEED internet connection: You will need a high-speed internet connection to take this course. Students attempting to take this course with a dial-up connection will have difficulty dealing with the large files associated with our lessons and, more importantly, lab exercises.

Please Note:

All course emails will be sent to your Michigan State (mail.msu.edu) or Community ID email account only via the D2L system. You will need to check this email account at least once a day for emails from your Instructor and Online Geography staff. If you need to, please set your Michigan State account to forward your emails to an account that you do check frequently.

Course Organization:

While a team of faculty and staff developed and manages the course, an Instructor teaches each section. Moreover, this course is delivered through a series of online lessons, labs, assessments, and textbook readings. Course assessments are accomplished through online quizzes and online labs. Self-assessments are provided for you after lessons so you can test your understanding of the lesson material.

Your instructor, associated staff, and course authors

This session, Dr. Yi Shi, is responsible for this course, from the day-to-day management to the grading. Dr. Shi will take care of instruction, grading labs and quizzes, any content questions you may have, any questions about how to work through the course, and final grades. ALL email correspondence should go to your instructor.

Beth Weisenborn and Juliegh Bookout are staff members of Online Geography (onGEO) courses at Michigan State University, so you may receive notices from them occasionally.

Dr. Kirk Goldsberry and Ms. Adrienne Goldsberry were the original authors of the course content. Yi Shi, Cadi Fung, Juliegh Bookout, and Beth Weisenborn were content editors. While this group of onGEO faculty and staff developed the course, they are not involved in the day-to-day workings of the course -- your instructor, Dr. Shi is responsible for course delivery and instruction.

Lessons

This course consists of 15 online lessons (or lectures) and 6 online labs. Please check the schedule (final page of this document) for the order and timing of the lessons and labs. The labs often lag behind the lessons (for a variety of reasons).

Lesson/Lab

Topic

Text Readings (4e)

0

Getting Started; Getting to Know You

--

1

Introduction to GIS

- What Exactly Is a GIS?

- GIS Software and Hardware

- Storing and Retrieving Data

- Spatial Data Analysis

- GIS in Action

Chapter 1

Activity 1

Remote-server (Desoto) Logon

--

2

Introduction to GIS Software

- Introduction

- Structure of GIS Software

- GIS Software Vendors

- ESRI Tutorial

Chapter 6

Activity 2
Lab 1

Esri Training Course: Getting Started with GIS

Introduction to ArcMap

--
--

3

Datums and Coordinate Systems

- The Shape of the Earth

- Datums in Use

- Coordinate Systems

- Using Coordinate Systems and Datums in a GIS

Chapter 4: Sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.6 to 4.9

4

Map Projections

- Purpose and Creation of Map Projections

- Map Projections and Distortion

- Types and Characteristics of Map Projections

- Common Projection Choices

- Working with Projections in a GIS

Chapter 4: Sections 4.8 to 4.8.3

Lab 2

Coordinate Systems and Projecting Geographic Information

--

5

Thematic Mapping I

- Reference and Thematic Maps

- Qualitative and Quantitative Thematic Maps
- Spatial Arrangement of Phenomena
- Discrete versus Continuous Data
- Smooth versus Abrupt Data
- Levels of Measurement

Chapter 2: Boxes 2.1 and 2/5;
Chapter 3: Section 3.5 to 3.5.2;
Chapter 11;
Chapter 12: Section 12.3
.1

6

Thematic Mapping II

- Visual Variables
- Types of Thematic Maps
- Data Classification

Chapter 11;
Chapter 12: Section 12.3
.1

Lab 3

Thematic Mapping

--

7

Data Models

- Vector and Raster Data Models

- Discrete Phenomena

- Continuous Phenomena

- Approaches to Precision and Scale

Chapter 3;
Chapter 7

8

GIS Data: Creation and Synthesis

- Data Types

- Creating New Data

- Extracting Data from Existing Data

- Metadata

- Quality Assurance

- Using Data from External Sources

- Data Synthesis

Chapter 8;
Chapter 10: Sections 10.2, 10.2.1, 10.2.2

9

Transformations in GIS

- Map Transformations

- Object Transformations

- Data Structure Transformations

- Spatial Interpolation (intro)

Chapter 12: Section 12.3.2

Chapter 13: Sections 13.1 to 13.3.2, 13.3.6

Lab 4

Georeferencing, Digitizing, and Creating New Data

--

10

Topology

- Introduction and Topology Defined
- Topological Relationships

- Summary

Chapter 7: Section 7.2.3.2

Chapter 9: Section 9.5

11

Overlay

- Introduction and History of Overlay Analysis

- Raster Overlay Analysis

- Vector Overlay Analysis

Chapter 13: Section 13.2.4

Lab 5

GIS Vector Data Analysis

--

12

Interpolations

- Methods of Spatial Interpolation

- Challenges in Spatial Interpolation

- Choosing a Spatial Interpolation Method

Chapter 13: Section 13.3.6 and subsections

13

Raster Analysis

- Raster Data in Detail

- Generalization When Representing Geographic Data with the Raster Data Model

- Principles of Raster Data Analysis

- Terrain Analysis

Browse through Chapter 5

Chapter 13: Section 13.2.5

Chapter 15: Sec 15.2.4

Lab 6

Esri Training Courses on Raster Analysis

--

14

Advanced Topics in GIS

- Planning a GIS Project

- Project Lifecycle

- GIS and Decision-making

Browse through Chapter 16

15

Summary, Future of GIS, and Ethics

- Topics of GIS and Ethics

- Geospatial Technology in the Real World

Browse through Chapter 17

Chapter 18: Sections 18.3 to 18.7

Chapter 19: Sections 19.5 to 19.6

Quizzes

There are eight quizzes. The purpose of these quizzes is to test your understanding of the material from the online lessons, textbook readings, AND labs covered. The quizzes will be open for you to take at your convenience. You may take each quiz only once. Once you begin a quiz, you will have to finish it in the designated time limit. You must take and complete each quiz before moving on to the next set of lessons and quiz. Quizzes are open-note and open-text and you may consult both of these sources while taking the quiz. Be forewarned, however, that having an 'open-book' quiz does not release you from studying! Quizzes are timed and if you are not prepared you will spend your time trying to find the answers.

Quizzes will consist of mostly multiple-choice, true/false, and some short answer and essay/calculation questions. All quiz questions are selected at random from a pool of questions. All answer options for each question are also ordered at random. Please take note that your quiz is unique and completely unlike any other student's quiz. Attempting to be dishonest on these quizzes is against University/course policy. You are expected to follow University policy on Academic Integrity.

Labs

In addition to the exams, you will also be required to complete two activities and six entirely online labs and submit your answers in D2L by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the date specified on the course schedule. All of your lab grades will count toward your final-grade calculation. Please contact your instructor if you need extra time to submit the assignment.

As with any course, it is the responsibility of the Instructor to uphold the standards suggested by the grading rubrics provided by the course authors. While your grade is determined by assessing the quality of your lab answers compared to the grading rubric, the grading process is subject to the rigor of the Instructor.

The labs will be based on the lessons and textbook readings you have recently covered. Spelling and grammar will count toward your score for written answers. Any form or degree of plagiarism will NOT be TOLERATED and will result in 0 points.

Labs are independent exercises; you are not to collaborate with fellow students on them. The labs are designed to take approximately 3-5 hours to complete.

It is strongly suggested that you start your labs early so that you have enough time to ask your instructor any questions you might have.

Course Policies:
MSU privacy statement (and use of course materials)

From the D2L Help Page: "Know your rights and University Policy: MSU expects that you will respect the rights of faculty and other students as you participate in the educational process. Participating in an D2L course means that you may have access to personal information and academic work produced by other students and faculty members, such as discussion board postings, drafts of papers and other work produced in the course. Academic norms and MSU policy require that you must not reveal any information about classmates, coursework, content, or its authors to anyone outside the course."

ALL of our course material in D2L is copyrighted property of MSU. This means that ALL course material in the D2L course site is protected and, other than one copy of the material for your own personal use, this material should not be distributed or posted in any form.

Academic integrity
You are expected to take this course in adherence to University and Department standards for Academic Integrity (The Office of the Ombudsman at Michigan State University). Please visit this site for a more detailed explanation of academic dishonesty and, especially, plagiarism -- two serious offenses from the viewpoint of onGEO, the Geography Department, and the University.


Grading:

Calculating your final grade

Your final grade will be based on all of your 9 labs/activities and 8 quiz scores, on a Pass (70% or higher) or Fail (below 70%) basis. Here is the breakdown:

Lab / Activity

Quiz

Getting to Know You module. 5 points

Quiz 1. 20 points

Activity 1. 5 points

Quiz 2. 20 points

Activity 2. 25 points

Quiz 3. 20 points

Lab 1. 30 points

Quiz 4. 20 points

Lab 2. 35 points

Quiz 5. 20 points

Lab 3. 20 points

Quiz 6. 20 points

Lab 4. 30 points

Quiz 7. 20 points

Lab 5. 30 points

Quiz 8. 20 points

Lab 6. 10 points

Total: 350 points

We highly recommend that all labs and quizzes achieve a level that demonstrates mastery of the material (at least 70% of the total points  per lab). Labs and Quizzes may be resubmitted once to achieve a satisfactory score.

You can view your grades for the labs and exams using your personal online gradebook (Assessments tab).

Extra credit
Given the number of assessments and abbreviated length of the session, no extra credit work will be considered.

onGEO Professional Certificate Course: ONGEO-N002.(34), Geographic Information Systems

Spring 2017, Second Session: Schedule        

Due dates for labs (by 11:59 PM (ET) on the due date provided):

F, March 24                        Activity 1. Remote-server Logon
F, March 24                        Activity 2. Esri Training Course: Getting Started with GIS

Tu, March 28                Lab 1. Introduction to ArcMap

F, March 31                        Lab 2. Coordinate Systems and Projecting Geographic Information

F, April 7                        Lab 3. Thematic Mapping

F, April 14                        Lab 4. Georeferencing, Digitizing, and Creating New Data

F, April 21                        Lab 5. GIS Vector Data Analysis

F, April 28                        Lab 6. Esri Training Courses on Raster Analysis

Date

Lesson

Topic

March 13

-

Getting Started

March 13

-

Getting to Know You: module contents are due by Tuesday, March 21

March 13

-

Course Introduction

March 13

1

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

March 13

2

Introduction to GIS Software

Quiz 1:  (Covers material from Lessons 1 to 2)                                                                

March 20

3

Datums and Coordinate Systems

March 20

4

Map Projections

Quiz 2:  (Covers material from Lessons 3 to 4)

March 27

5

Thematic Mapping I

March 27

6

Thematic Mapping II

Quiz 3:  (Covers material from Lessons 5 to 6)

April 3

7

Data Models

April 3

8

GIS Data: Creation and Synthesis

Quiz 4:  (Covers material from Lessons 7 to 8)

April 3

9

Transformations in GIS

April 3

10

Topology

Quiz 5: (Covers material from Lessons 9 to 10)

April 10

11

Overlay

April 10

12

Interpolations

Quiz 6: (Covers material from Lessons 11 to 12)        

April 17

13

Raster Analysis

        

April 17

14

Advanced Topics in GIS

Quiz 7: (Covers material from Lessons 13 to 14)

April 24

15

Summary, Future of GIS, Ethics

April 24

16

Course Wrap-up

Quiz 8: (Covers material from Lessons 15 and 16)