Geography 355: a follow up to Geography 222 & 353
- But no prereq! Why? Problems with this! Or not!
- Best to take 222 then 353 then 355 – but any combination OK
Geographic Information Systems (GIS): technology & methods for analyzing spatial / geographic data (data with a geographic location associated with it).
Different ways to teach a geographic information systems (GIS) course like this one:
- Lectures + series of exercises (Geog 222)
- Lectures + one big exercise broken into parts (Geog 353)
Or get away from those formats: even more open, flexible, interactive: this class:
- Student presentations of readings (w/some by me)
- Self guided tutorial (w/my & classmates help)
- Applied, real-world group project or projects (practicum, service learning, etc.)
Exhibit A: GIS Texts for course (Schuurman, Mitchell, Getting to Know ArcGIS 10) and software (ArcGIS)
- GIS: set of concepts and hardware and software
- Data input, analysis, output
- Capabilities and applications expanding exponentially
- Data Input (how?)
- Data Layers (examples)
- Data analysis (examples)
- Data output (printer, webmaps, etc.)
- ex) Delaware GIS Data in ArcGIS
- all in a social/human context (Schuurman book)
Course goal: become familiar (or more familiar) with GIS concepts, functionality, software
Exhibit B: class student projects
GIS is so popular because it is useful: many applications, but GIS applications are a lot of work!
- Data input: where is data from? format? what data do you need?
- typical: 50% to 75% of time and cost is in finding and processing data in any GIS project
- Output: on computer screen? paper? WWW? To what audience?
The complexities of an actual application
- Understand the software, your data and the application area, the research process, goals.
- The human context: working in a group (collaboration: group member’s varying abilities and skills), project politics, costs involved, institutions within which GIS is supposed to function
Course Goal: Learn that GIS is a bunch of software functions in ArcGIS and much more than a bunch of software functions in ArcGIS
The goal this semester is to bring together exhibits A and B
- Learn about GIS as a software tool: its functions, capabilities
- Apply what we learn to a real world project
- In working through a real world application we will learn what GIS is really about much more than just software and hardware
Geography 353: Scripted project, all figured out for you, me active, you more passive
This course: a bit more active learning for all of us
- We will work as a group (or in sub groups) throughout the semester
- You will be active in shaping what we do and how we do it
- The success of the course depends on your engagement in the course
- You will push yourself and me to get the most you can get out of this course
Problems: anxiety provoking, potential for disorder and problems, unmotivated & passive students
Benefits: learn a lot in “real world” setting with real problems to solve, forced to move beyond passive lump in class, maybe even have an impact
OWU students: smart, motivated, engaged; and small class sizes
- Upper level courses should involve real engagement (so that is what I expect)
Bottom Line: for this course to work:
- Active participation by all students: lumpen passivity not allowed
- Collaboration with each other and OWU and community folks
- Students should expect to play an active and vital role in the class and in the project!
Review: Syllabus and Schedule and General Course Structure (blog)
Create your Course Blog
1) go to wordpress.com
2) sign up and create a blog
3) set up the look of the blog and create some categories
- Class Readings
- Class Project
- Class Exercises
4) new post: introduction to you
5) new post: Schurmann reading (ch. 1) notes, comments, questions
6) new post: One GIS application area of interest, with at least 3-5 sources/links & embedded graphics
7) email me the URL to your Blog by the end of class today and have the other stuff done by class time Wednesday.