B.C.'s Energy College

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GEOG 260 - Introduction to GIS

This introductory course will provide a foundation in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The understanding of the basic concepts of GIS is important in utilizing its tools effectively. Geographic data in spatial and non-spatial formats is unique in data analysis. Understanding the data structure or data model of a GIS dictates the analysis technique that can be used to solve a problem. Relational Database Management System is an integral component of a GIS. Basic cartographic techniques are useful in presenting data effectively. Basic understanding of statistics is useful in geographic analysis.


Credits: 3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 1.5; Laboratory Hours: 1.5)


Total Weeks: 15



CPSC 101 Introduction to Computing (or equivalent); GEOG 250 Cartography: Map & Air Photo Interpretation


Non-Course Prerequisites:






Course Content:
- Describe the nature of data
    Describe what is considered data
    Describe how data are stored in a computer
- Describe the nature of geographic data
    Describe characteristics of geographic data
    Compare the different levels of measurement
    Determine and calculate basic statistics (Mean, Median, Mode, Variance, Standard Deviation, Frequency Diagrams)
- Describe GIS data
    Describe and discuss what is GIS?
    Describe the nature of spatial data
    Describe the nature of non-spatial data
    Describe the relationship between spatial and non-spatial data
- Explain and Compare the different non-spatial data models
    Explain and compare the non-spatial data models
    Explain the relational model
    Explain the hierarchical model
    Explain the network model
    Explain and use Microsoft ACCESS
    Describe tables
    Describe data types
- Explain Microsoft ACCESS
    Explain Microsoft ACCESS and its purpose
    Explain and use query
    Explain relations
- Apply and maintain Microsoft ACCESS
    Apply Query to show contents of a database
    Apply Select to show contents of a database
    Apply Update to modify records of a database
    Apply Delete to delete records of a database
    Apply Create Table
    Apply SQL to display records of a database
- Apply export techniques in Microsoft ACCESS
    Explain the difference and purpose of export techniques
    Export to DBF
    Export to Excel
    Apply ODBC to access the Microsoft ACCESS database
- Explain and Compare the different spatial data models
    Explain and compare the Spatial Data Models used to represent real world features
    Explain the Vector model
    Explain the Raster model
    Explain the Object model
    Compare distortions of different Map Projections
- Describe common GIS functionalities
    Describe Transforming data
    Explain Buffering and its purpose
    Describe the Overlaying of different themes and the resultant
- Describe a GIS such as ArcGIS (ArcView)
    Describe the different components of ArcView
    Describe the ArcMap interface
    Describe the ArcCatalog interface
    Describe the ArcTool interface
- Apply ArcView
    Use and explore ArcMap
    Use and explore ArcCatalog
    Use and display data
    Retrieve information about features
    Display and present data
    Plot maps using layout

    Describe Map Components (Title, North Arrow, Scale, Legend)


Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion, students will be able to:
- Explain a GIS
- Apply GIS concepts
- Explain the nature of geographic data (spatial and non-spatial)
- Explain non-spatial data models and data types
- Use a Relational Database Management System (input, storage, query, output and export)
- Compare the different spatial models
- Describe uses of a GIS

- Use a GIS software (input, storage, query and output)


Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 100


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.
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