GEM 402 Geospatial Technologies For Environmental Mapping with GIS


GEM402

COURSE SYLLABUS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course introduces fundamental concepts of geospatial information in relation to environmental studies.

The course outlines fundamentals of geographic coordinate systems and projections, content and layout of topographic maps, map reading, interpretation and measurement, as well as using topographic maps as a base for thematic mapping. Aerial photographs, widely used in many environmental management applications, are also discussed in detail. The course introduces different types of images, their specific features and their use for different applications. This part of the course culminates into theoretical and practical aspects of visual image interpretation, as a result of which a thematic map is usually created. Thematic map making is closely related to another sub-discipline - cartography. The course introduces fundamentals of map design, specifically for thematic maps which are compliment any environmental study. Another part of a typical project requires collection of data in the field. Basics of techniques and instruments for such activities are introduced in the course with the emphasis to spatial data sampling.

An environmental study often involves the use of Global Position System (GPS) both for navigational and mapping purposes, thus fundamentals of GPS and mobile mapping technologies are an inherent part of the course. The course culminates on issues of integration of modern IT and wireless technologies and their impact on cartography, mapping and GIS.


LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Through intensive theoretical and practical exercises students will have the opportunity to acquire hand-on experience in analysis and processing of different sources of geospatial information using a GIS package.

The overall goal of this course is developing student confidence in interoperability of geospatial methods and technologies for assessment and monitoring of environmental resources.

Upon successful completion of the course material, the student should be able to:

- Understand fundamental geospatial concepts and their relationship
- Use topographic maps along or as a basement for thematic mapping in their environmental studies
- Have the ability to recognize and interpret objects on aerial photographs
- Design and create aesthetic and technically sound thematic maps, using fundamental cartographic concepts and map design rules
- Apply different sampling techniques depending on goals of study
- Understand principles of GPS and mobile mapping and its applicability for environmental studies
- Have the ability to discuss complicity of issues related to integration of geospatial data, techniques and methods for applied environmental studies


COURSE RESOURCES:

Text: Elements of Cartography, Arthur H. Robinson, Joel L. Morrison, Phillip C. Muehrcke, A. Jon Kimerling, Stephen C. Guptill, 6th ed., NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1995.

Supplemental readings: The e-guides and tutorials from ESRI digital Library and Documentation. Additional Internet recourses and PDF manuals will be recommended for particular modules during the course.

Students will be provided with a variety of study materials (PPT presentations), handouts (PDF) and supplemental materials in digital form. Supplemental materials will be available on the Blackboard and GIS Server. 

Online resources: ESRI’s Virtual Campus online courses (see Schedule).


ACCESS TO SOFTWARE:

The ESRI ArcGIS 10 software runs on the School for the Environment's GIS server. This means that students can access their coursework from any computer using a regular web browser and a high-speed internet connection (i.e. DSL or cable).


PREREQUISITE:

This course is designed for people who completed GEM400 course. Proficiency with the Microsoft Windows operating system and ArcGIS is required. A high-speed internet connection is required.


EVALUATION:

Students complete five assignments designed to provide practical experience with the software while simultaneously illustrating and reinforcing theoretical concepts. Each assignment includes exercises accompanied by questions that encourage students to think about the underlying principles that affect the tasks they are performing.

Quizzes will take place during the week six and twelve of the course, and will cover all of the material discussed in the course.

Courses from the ESRI virtual campus will be assigned as additional homework. Proof (PDF copies of the certificates) of completion of these courses will be required.


Overall Assessment:

This course requires that you maintain an average of 70% or greater in the course work for continuation in the course. There is an expectation for a high level of quality in the work produced by the student. For evaluation purposes, work will be graded under the following criteria: 

Distance Education Certificate Program Grade Scale:

 

Letter Grade Scale

Numerical Scale of Marks
A + 90-100%
A 85-89%
A - 80-84%
B+ 77-79%
B 73-76%
B- 70-72%
FZ 0-69%

  

SEMESTER SCHEDULE: GEM 402 GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MAPPING WITH GIS

WEEK TOPIC LAB/ASSIGN ASSIGN DUE TUTORIAL TEST Suggested  ESRI VC  
Fundamental Geospatial Concepts Lab_1 (14%)       Turning Data into Information Using ArcGIS 10  
2 Earth Shape, Map Projections and Coordinate Systems   Lab_1     Basics of Geographic Coordinate Systems (for ArcGIS 10)  
Topographic Maps Lab_2 (14%)          
Reading Week         Working with Coordinate Systems in ArcGIS 10  
Elements of Aerial Photography and Visual Image Interpretation   Lab_2        
6  Field Measurements, Mapping and Sampling Lab_3 (15%)     Quiz _1 (5%) Field GIS: Collecting and Editing Data Using ArcPad 10  
Introduction to Global Positioning Systems   Lab_3        
8  Reading Week            
GPS for Environmental Studies Lab_4 (15%)       Getting Started with Cartographic Representations  
10  Cartography and Thematic Mapping   Lab_4 Tutorial   Advanced Techniques for Cartographic Representations  
11  Cartography and Map Design Lab_5 (14%)       Introduction to Editing Parcels Using ArcGIS Desktop 10  
12  Integrated Geospatial Technologies for Environmental Mapping   Lab_5   Quiz_2 (10%) Working with Annotation Using ArcGIS 10 ESRI PDF Certificates (13%)
 

 

NOTE: The topics and schedule can be changed during the term.


COURSE ACCESS AND POLICIES:

Blackboard Online Course System: http://portal.utoronto.ca/ > Login > GEM402: GEM 402 - Geospatial Technologies for Environmental Mapping with GIS

GIS Server: http://env.environment.utoronto.ca/gis/ > DigitalEarth1 or 1. From Windows: Start > Program Files > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connections; 2. Tab Options: Computer name - 142.150.189.38, enter your password and username; 3. Tab Local resources: check Disk Drives; 4. Connect

ESRI Virtual Campus: http://campus.esri.com/ > My Training > Start or continue your courses > My Virtual Campus Courses > Login

Important Contacts Instructor:  Gennady Gienko, e-mail: ggienko@uaa.alaska.edu



Course Evaluation:

Students complete five assignments designed to provide practical experience with the software while simultaneously illustrating and reinforcing theoretical concepts. Each assignment includes exercises accompanied by questions that encourage students to think about the underlying principles that affect the tasks they are performing.

Quizzes will take place during the week five and ten of the course, and will cover all of the material discussed in the course.

Courses from the ESRI virtual campus will be assigned as additional homework. Proof (PDF copies of the certificates) of completion of these courses will be required.

Course Component Percentage of final grade
Lab/Assignments Submissions 72
Mid and Final Quizzes 15
ESRI Virtual Campus Certificates 13


Late Submission

All assignments are to be submitted by the due date (see Schedule in Blackboard > Course Information). If, due to illness or emergency this will not be possible, please discuss this with the instructor prior to the due date and an individual revised due date may be established.

Assignments received after the due date without negotiation will drop by 10% per day and after 10 days will be graded 0 marks. All assignments set in the course must be submitted in order to receive a Course Grade. 


Lost Data

Loss of assignments or other course materials due to your personal computer failure is not an acceptable reason for failing to submit work. Students are expected to make backup copies of their work on a daily basis from your computer to the GIS Server or on other media.