Principles of GIS (GEOG480), Fall 2016

This course is intended to introduce students to basic principles in the rapidly growing field of geographic information systems and science (GIS). The course will be held in a lecture format combined with hands-on projects. THIS IS NOT A COURSE THAT TREATS USE OF A PARTICULAR GIS SOFTWARE PRODUCT. The emphasis is on the concepts and principles that underlie the development of GIS and its intelligent use. The knowledge that students gain in this course will be general and will not be limited to a specific software product that will be revised next year and the year after that. The following textbook will be used.

Worboys, M. and Duckham, M. 2004. GIS – A Computing Perspective, Second Edition. New York, NY: CRC Press.


[HOMEWORK due on 8/30] Search online to find out what the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) does and identify at least one example of geospatial standards. We will discuss your examples at the beginning of our 8/30 class. A New Standard Effort
[HOMEWORK due on 9/22] Identify a real-world problem that you are interested in, but cannot solve using existing GIS technologies. You are required to submit a document (via email to to describe your problem and explain why it is difficult or impossible to solve. The document should be up to three pages with single-line space using Times font size between 11 and 12. This homework is the first deliverable of Project 1, and counted as 5 points.
[Project 2 released on Oct. 4, and due on Oct. 25]

Lecture Slides - Overview
Lecture Slides - Geospatial Big Data and Database Concepts
Lecture Slides - Fundamental Spatial Concepts - Part I
Lecture Slides - Fundamental Spatial Concepts - Part II
Lecture Slides - Models of Geospatial Information
Exam 1 Review
Lecture Slides - Geocomputation Part I
Lecture Slides - Geocomputation Part II
Lecture Slides - Architectures
Exam 2 Review

Group Project Resources

Sections in the textbook that need to be studied for Exam 1 (Oct. 13 in class)

Chapter 1: all sections
Chapter 2: all sections except for 2.3.2, 2.4.3, and 2.4.4
Chapter 3: 3.1.3, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3
Chapter 4: all sections except for 4.4.3

Sections in the textbook that need to be studied for Exam 2 (Dec. 8 in class)
Chapter 5: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3.1, 5.3.2, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, 5.4.3, 5.4.4, 5.5.2
Chapter 7: all sections except for 7.3.3, 7.4, 7.5