Introduction to Course

GEOG 456/656 – Advanced Geographic Information Systems [Lect 3.0] Application and analysis of advanced techniques and principles of Geographic Information Systems, integrally related mapping and remote sensing technologies to fully address spatial and time related problems related to urban site characterizations, hydrologic analyses, risk assessment, policy making, disaster response and strategic defense techniques etc

Texts (not required)

1.  Advanced Spatial Analysis – Longley & Batty (editors) (2003)
2.  Concepts and Techniques of Geographic Information Systems – Lo & Yeung (2007)
3.  Remote Sensing of the Environment (An Earth Resource Perspective) – Jensen (2007)
4.  Introductory Digital Image Processing (A Remote Sensing Perspective) – Jensen (2005)
5.  GIS, Spatial Analysis and Modeling – Maguire, Batty & Goodchild (2005)
6.  Frontiers of Geographic Information Technology – Rana & Sharma (2006)
7.  Modeling Our World – Zeiler (1999)
8.  GIS, A computing perspective – Worboys/Duckham (2004)
9.  Designing Geodatabases – Arctur & Zeiler (2004)
10.  The ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis – Mitchell (2004)
11.  Exploring GIS - Chrisman (1997)
12.  Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment – Richason (editor) (1978)
13.  Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling Support with GIS – Maidment & Djokic (2000)
14.  Disaster Response (GIS for Public Safety) – Amdahl (2001)
15.  Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation – Lillesand/Kiefer (1979)
16.  Introduction to Geographic Information Systems – Kang-tsung Chang (2002)
17.  Fundamentals of GIS – DeMers (2000)
18.  GIS for Geoscientists (Modelling with GIS) – Bonham-Carter (1994)
19.  Beyond Mapping: Concepts, Algorithms and Issues in GIS – Berry (1993)
20.  ArcView 3D Analyst – ESRI Press
21.  ArcView Spatial Analyst – ESRI Press
22.  Harnessing AutoCAD Land Development Desktop – Zimmerman
23.  AutoCAD Map 2004 – Oliver
24.  ArcGIS and the Digital City – Huxhold et al (2004)
25.  Getting to know ArcObjects – Burke (2003)
26.  Getting to know ArcGIS desktop – ESRI Press
27.  Understanding GIS, The ARC/INFO Method – ESRI Press.
28.  ArcGIS Server Administrator and Developer Guide – ESRI Press.


GEOG 455/655, Basic Programming, Knowledge of Microsoft Access and Database Management would be advantageous

Attendance and Performance Policy

Attendance is expected at all lectures and laboratory sessions. Proper learning of the course material can only be achieved through regular course attendance and an abundance of time spent completing all of the assigned lab assignments and practicing the skills introduced in this course. You may be dropped from a course by the instructor because of excessive absences or unsatisfactory work.

Homework, Quizzes, and Class Participation

Exercises and/or in class assignments/discussions, corresponding to any assigned readings or PodCasts, may be assigned at the beginning of all (non-exam) lecture periods. These exercises are to be completed a week from the day they were assigned, except for extra credit assignments which are due as deemed fit. Participation in group discussions is mandatory for discussions grade. The instructor may collect one or all of these assigned works for grading. Late homework or laboratory assignments will NOT be accepted, except under extraordinary circumstances.

Short quizzes may also be given at the instructor's discretion at certain times during the semester. As a means of encouraging interactive learning in the course, the instructor may base part of your grade on your willingness to participate in class discussions and assignments.


Two in-class exams will be given throughout the semester, and a comprehensive exam and/or project (or a series of mini-projects). All exams will be cumulative and will primarily consist of GIS theory and practice basics. Make-up exams will generally NOT be given. However, exceptions will be made in the case of genuine emergencies (the instructor will define "genuine" and "emergency" at his discretion). Vacations or lack of preparation are not valid reasons.


Your grade for this course will be determined on the following basis, and the standard university grading policy will be followed. However, the instructor reserves the right to curve grades as he deems necessary. Graduate students? will undertake a comprehensive semester project1 based on assigned topics or topics of interest to the student agreed on consultation with the instructor for graduate credit.

    Undergraduate Student Graduate Student
Homework / Reading Assignments / Discussions 25% 15%
Lab Assignments 50% 40%
In-class exams (2 @ 12.5 % each) 25% 25%
Final Exam / Project   20%
Total 100% 100%

    Final grade Course grade
90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Academic honesty

Teamwork is encouraged for studying course topics, but giving aid to another student during an exam or quiz or taking information from another student's exam or quiz papers constitutes academic dishonesty. Handing in similar lab assignments in entirety is also academically unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the instructor. Academic dishonesty will be handled according to code of academic responsibility and conduct


The course schedule, content, and assignments are subject to modification when circumstances dictate and as the course progresses and matures. If changes are made, you will be given due notice.

General Information (Current and Future Trends)

Overview of GIS modeling
GIS software capabilities are useful in themselves, but they become much more important when they are combined into various kinds of analytical models. These include resource allocation models, population forecasting and spatial distribution models, and land use forecasting models, transportation models, gravity models, and site selection models. Combining economic and environmental models provides an enhanced overview of perhaps the majority of the components of many environmental situations.

Overview of Spatial Analysis
Extending GIS to the third dimension has relied heavily on development in hardware speeds, rendering and computer graphics software. It is now possible to display 3-D environments almost as quickly as the 2-D flat map, and this is providing new insights from visualization that translate more abstract information into a form that many non-expert user can immediately understand.

Overview of GIS usage in Public Safety
In a world increasingly beset by natural and man-made disasters, it's hard to imagine a more striking or beneficial use of GIS than in matters of public safety. When you stop to consider the number and kinds of disasters that happen at any given moment around the world, the elements and conditions that cause them, the factors and the forces that mix and collide as they occur – and the often indescribably chaos and misery that ensues– the idea of a comprehensive and effective system of response starts to look impossible. But that's precisely what GIS is.

Overview of DEM usage in Water Resources Modeling
Topography plays an important role in the distribution and flux of water and energy parameters within natural landscapes. The automated extraction of topographic parameters from DEMs is recognized as a viable alternative to traditional surveys and manual evaluation of topographic maps, particularly as the quality and coverage of DEM data increase.
In this course, you should attain the following goals and/or objectives by the end of the semester. You should be able to:
•  Define or describe various terms, symbols, etc., as given in the notes, and/or supplementary materials.
•  Learn and fully utilize the fundamental properties of vector and raster data.
•  Interpret correctly and make extensive use of pertinent information to adopt a GIS to assess the situation.
•  Analyze and apply the basics of cartography, geodesy, and geography.
•  Ascertain how data structure dictates capability, accuracy, and analysis of a model.
•  Develop methods for creating, determining, and evaluating geodatabases.
•  Apply the fundamental principles, generalizations, and theories of GIS to real life situations.
•  Develop skills necessary to improve rational-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.
•  Enhance a sense of personal responsibility as evidenced by self-reliance and self-discipline in the completion of tasks assigned.