User:Trinisands/Welcome to GIS

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Welcome to Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This is a 6 credit course being offered through the Continuing Education Department of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George Canada. It is designed to facilitate the acquisition of basic GIS operation skills and to a sound understanding of the general principles that underlie the efficient and effective use of the system. This section will help guide you through the course. It contains important information on the course materials,topics presented and instructions on what you will have to do to complete the course successfully.


GIS is a computer based technology that incorporates geographical features with tabular data in order to map and analyze / assess real-world questions that relate to resource management. A GIS is distinct from other information systems e.g. financial, management etc, in that much of the data used have a spatial component, in other words, data that is in some way referenced to locations on the earth. Coupled with this data is usually tabular data known as attribute data. Attribute data are generally defined as additional information about each of the spatial features.

Course Description

Introduction to GIS is a technology-focused course that is designed to improve your technical skills using a GIS and to help you gain a basic understanding of the issues related to all Information Systems in general and Geographic Information systems in particular. The course will present a mix of learning methods including hands-on exercises, internet searches, lectures and internet discussions. It will examine all aspects of the system namely, data entry, data management, data analysis and data output. The course will emphasize the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills by having you work on real-world and/or simulated real-world problems. You are encouraged to bring forth any problems you may think would be useful in advancing the collective GIS expertise of the class. UNBC will try to utilize expertise within the university and incorporate guest lectures wherever possible. Guest lectures may cover some of the topics listed below:

  1. Environmental Impact Assessment Monitoring
  2. Forestry and Ethnobotany
  3. Archaeological Impact Assessment Monitoring
  4. Documentation of fish species, fish habitat and fish habitat assessment
  5. Data collection, processing, storage and production

Independent projects will utilize the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course to complete a final project based on a "real" referral request from a licencee or government agency.

This course is intended to be a collaborative exercise in which the students and the instructor share information and knowledge through the use of personal Weblogs.

Course Materials

Your course package should include a laptop computer, with the required software packages already loaded and a textbook which includes a student resource CD-rom. The textbook used here is:

Ormsby,T, Napolean, N, Burke,R, Feaster,L, Groessl,C. Getting to know ArcGIS Desktop, Second Edition, Updated for ArcGIS 9.3, ESRI Press, 2008.

Students will also be provided with a CD-rom that contains a dataset for use in ArcGIS desktop and the alternative mapping programs.

The package will also contain two course workbooks for the instruction in using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology and to provide an introduction to the components of the OziExplorer software.

Additional Resources

Students are required to refer to and use information provided on this wiki page as it is updated throughout the course.


Attendance Policy

==Course Topics==

Getting Started

Basic GIS Concepts

Basic Geographic Concepts