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GEOG 581 CONCEPTS FOR SPATIAL THINKING SYLLABUS FALL 2011 GIST GRADUATE PROGRAMS © 2011 1 GEOG 581 Concepts for Spatial Thinking (Section 35744) Course Syllabus Fall 2011 Instructor: Assistant Professor Jennifer Swift Location: AHF B57D Email: [email protected] Website: gis.usc.edu , spatial.usc.edu Skype : ssb27q Office Hours: (tentative) Monday Friday 10am to 2 pm Pacific Time Always available asynchronously via email. Also, available for synchronous chats via phone or Skype or Adobe Connect, audio or video most days and times by prior arrangement via email. Just get in touch! Course Scope and Purpose This course is designed as an introduction to GIS, and more importantly, to the cartographic and spatial concepts underlying GIS. It is the entrée course for both the GIST Certificate and the GIST Master of Science degree program. This is also a good course for those who are considering getting more seriously involved with GIS and want to first understand the underlying concepts. In this course, you will gain an understanding of the basic concepts of cartography, working with spatial information, GIS, and ArcGIS. We will cover several topics: Maps for communicating geographic information We start by focusing on basic concepts that are fundamental to understanding the nature of geographic knowledge, how this knowledge is communicated, and how it can be graphically depicted. Spatial thinking and spatial concepts As an important foundation to understanding the scope and possibilities of using GIS to represent and manage the world around us, we examine some basic notions of cognition, mental representations of space, meaning in maps, spatial thinking and spatial problems. Fundamentals of GIS Of course, most of the term will concentrate on the fundamentals of our field. Here we consider the nature of computer systems for handling geographically referenced data. We explore the nature of geographic data and some basic ways to analyze it. You will get a structured hands- on introduction to the most widely used GIS software, Esri’s ArcGIS. We will also review the history and development of GIS, the costs and disadvantages of GIS and likely future developments. Learning Outcomes When you have completed this course, you will be able to: Explain how spatial thinking is one of the basic human intellectual processes and what roles it plays in our everyday lives. Describe how spatial concepts enable maps to become powerful communication tools. Define Geographic Information Science (GISci) and explain how it forms the basis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and how it is relevant to various other scientific disciplines;
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GEOG 581 CONCEPTS FOR SPATIAL THINKING SYLLABUS FALL 2011 GIST GRADUATE PROGRAMS © 2011 2 Explain how Geographic Information Systems are powerful tools enabling spatial thinking and describe how spatial concepts define how this technology is implemented and used; Name and explain the components that make up a Geographic Information System;
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