Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are powerful tools used to collect, inventory, categorize, transform, and analyze data that has a spatial reference; that is, spatial coordinates. Similar to databases, GIS accumulate facts (data), aid our ability to assign significance to those facts, and create knowledge (information). But GIS further enhances our understanding of spatial relationships between data elements.  Although GIS has an incredible capacity to reveal and highlight informational and spatial relationships, the GIS user must ultimately determine the relevance and value of this information within a given context. This course can increase your value as a professional by growing your critical thinking and learning skills while increasing your technical proficiency in the use of GIS.


By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Operate the ESRI ArcGIS geographic information system at an intermediate level. Specifically,
    • Download and preview geographic data in ArcCatalog
    • Add data to an ArcMap document
    • Change the way features are symbolized and labeled on a map
    • Access feature information in different ways
    • Define projections and project data into new projections or coordinate systems
    • Identify common coordinate systems and projections for data that do not have metadata
  2. Create data
    • Create shapefiles and Feature Classes in ArcMap
    • Create and use GeoDataBases and their component data structures
    • Effectively use feature classes, feature data sets, and grids in a GeoDataBase
  3. Create and Edit point, line, and polygon data
    • Create new data by editing new layers created in ArcCatalog; by importing coordinate data; and by heads-up digitizing from high resolution orthophoto in ArcMap
    • Use tools and models to carry out spatial analyses
  4. Use GIS technology to solve spatial problems. Specifically,
    • Develop cartographic models to answer questions
    • Use ArcGIS tools to carry out spatial and non-spatial analyses
    • Use the ArcGIS Modeler to GeoProcess analysis procedures
  5. Make effective maps
    • Apply basic cartographic principles

Course content in managed under the Blackboard course management system.