CSC-310/610 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

  • Credits: Three
  • Instructor: Alan Ford
  • Offered: CSC 310/610 Fall (recurring), CSC 310 Spring (recurring)

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems is a course in the fundamentals of the use of geographic information systems (GIS). GIS is becoming widespread in: local, state, and federal governments; in non-governmental organizations; in the private sector; and more recently with individuals. Authorities define a GIS to be “a system of hardware, software, data, people, organizations, and institutional arrangements for collecting, storing, analyzing, and disseminating information about areas of the earth. This course will provide an introduction to GIS, GIS software, and review and analyze some applications of GIS.


SPA 096-004/696-004 - Principles of Geographic Information Science


  • Credits: One
  • Instructor: Meagan Snow
  • Offered: Summer (Recurring)

In this course, students will learn foundational skills in GIS software and begin to think critically and creatively about the application of those skills. Coursework will include introductions to spatial data types and formats, coordinate systems, spatial queries and joins, geoprocessing tools, and the art and science of cartography. By the end of the course, students will know how to make basic maps, how to create, edit, and query spatial data, and have an understanding of what else is possible with GIS, given further study.


ENVS-455/ENVS-655 Environmental Geographic Information Systems


  • Credits: Three
  • Instructor: Mike Alonzo
  • Offered: Spring 2020

The study of the environment is inherently spatial and global in nature. One way to view and analyze data in a spatial, or geographic, context is with geographic information systems (GIS). GIS hardware and software are commonly used to map and analyze the drivers and implications of deforestation, urbanization, air/water/soil pollution, environmental health disparities, and myriad other spatial-environmental phenomena. In this course students enhance their theoretical and technical knowledge of GIS (primarily using ArcGIS) through analysis, spatial modeling, and cartographic representation of socio-environmental issues. Prerequisite: CSC-310 or mathematics or statistics course. Meets with ENVS-696 001.


ENVS-485/ENVS-685 Remote Sensing of the Environment


  • Credits: Three
  • Instructor: Mike Alonzo
  • Offered: Fall 2019

Satellite and aerial imagery allow for analysis of environmental conditions and dynamism at every point on earth, nearly every day. This course will introduce multispectral (e.g., Landsat, MODIS) and hyperspectral imagery as well as lidar (light detection and ranging) data in the context of quantitative ecological analysis. Topics will include remote sensing physical bases, sensors, applications, and methods.


STAT 517 - Spatial Data Analysis


  • Credits: Three
  • Instructor: TBD
  • Offered: TBD

Spatial data analysis concerns data that are correlated by location, and relies upon the assumption that objects closer together in space (e.g. geographical location) will most likely have similar responses. This course provides an introduction to graphical and quantitative methods for the analysis of spatial data. Emphasis is on lattice data (also known as areal data or aggregated data) however modeling of geostatistical data and point patterns will be discussed. Topics include spatial regression, clustering and cluster detection, simulation methods, variograms, autocorrelation, and additional spatial methods. An important aspect of the course is to gain experience with spatially correlated data in applying these techniques using GIS and spatial analytical software to address research questions in a wide variety of fields such as sociology, public health, and environmental sciences.


ECON-696 – GIS Applications in Empirical Economics


  • Credits: Three
  • Instructor: Boris Gershman
  • Offered: Spring 2020

In recent years, the applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become increasingly common across various fields of economic research including development, environmental, and urban economics. This course leverages ArcGIS, a leading software for creation and analysis of geocoded data, to introduce the GIS tools most commonly applied in modern empirical economics. Topics include visualization of spatial data, construction and combination of variables capturing geographic proximity, climate, terrain, and other environmental characteristics for different spatial units of analysis, georeferencing, processing of raster files including satellite images and panel datasets. Each major theme of the course is built around replication exercises reproducing elements of recently published economics articles using GIS methods. The course also offers an introduction to Python programming in ArcGIS.

Prerequisites: ECON-322 or similar applied econometrics/statistics course.


JLC 696 - GIS and Crime Mapping


  • Credits: Three
  • Instructor: Lallen Johnson-Hart
  • Offered: Spring 2019

This is primarily a lab course that trains students in the fundamentals of crime mapping using geospatial software. The course opens with a history of crime mapping, and illustrates the value of geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for answering critical crime and justice research questions. The course then uses scenario-based exercises to train students how to work with and manage geospatial data, conduct select spatial analyses, interpret the results of such analyses within the contexts of different criminological theories, and create maps that illustrate spatial patterns and relationships across different units of geography.