The Geographer's Craft, Fall 1999

This page contains the class schedule by week: August 25 | August 30 | September 6 | September 13 | September 20 | September 27 | October 4 | October 11 | October 18 | October 25 | November 1 | November 8 | November 15 | November 22 | November 29 |


Related pages: General Information | Lecture and Discussion Notes | Research Problems and Warmup Exercises | Study and Review Questions | Geographer's Craft Homepage | UC Geography Homepage |

August 25: Introduction

Topics and tasks: Introduction to course. Windows and Internet quiz. Complete final enrollment. Overview of laboratory resources, access, and use.


August 30: Internet Study, Research and Publishing Skills

Topics and tasks: Practice with Internet resources. Introduce electronic mail and the telnet and ftp commands. Overview of file use, transfer, conversion, compression, and decompression. Discuss problems involved in navigating the Internet. Demonstrate how to access and use on-line class materials. Establish IF accounts. Assign accounts and electronic mail addresses. Establish lab teams.

 Required Reading:


September 6: Internet Study, Research and Publishing Skills

Topics and tasks: Overview of the HTML and the basics of Web publishing. Design first homepage for final Web project.

 Required Reading:

Supplemental Reading:

September 13: Texas Campaign Strategy

Topics and tasks: Introduction to Texas electoral and demographic dynamics and Clinton campaign strategy of 1992. Explore ways in which the Clinton strategy can be applied to Texas. Develop strategy based upon recent electoral returns and demographic data from Texas counties. Overview of advanced ArcView data handling and analysis functions. Contrast the advantages and disadvantages of cartographic versus database solutions. Also consider GIS as an integrating research technology including basic GIS concepts and definitions.  Consider GIS in comparison to other application software used in geography and the social and natural sciences.

 Required Reading:


September 20: Research Concepts and Exploratory Data Analysis

Topics and tasks: Consider the revolution in information technology and the way it is changing research methodologies in the sciences and geography. Introduce the idea of the electronic classroom including the Internet, Worldwide Web, and library resources. Consider the issue of research methodology and various models of analytic and scientific reasoning.


 Required Reading: None.


September 27: Principles of Cartographic Communication

Topics and tasks: Introduction to thematic cartography applied to first maps. Overview of cartography as a form of visual communication. Definition of audience and theme. Overview of general principles, composition of map elements, and visual hierarchy. Experiments with point symbols and color. Problems of realizing goals with automated systems: "Never Trust Defaults."

 Required Reading:

Supplemental Reading:

October 4: Issues in Demographic Mapping

Topics and tasks: Overview of issues relating to demographic mapping: statistical generalization, classification, and symbolization. Overview of problems of data classification and of strengths and weaknesses of various methods. Perform experiments with area patterns and further tests with layout and color. Introduce new issues relating to verbal content and lettering. Review of descriptive statistics.

Required Reading:

Supplemental Reading:

October 11: The Resurgence of Cholera in Peru

Topics and tasks: Introduce geography's spatial and ecological contributions to the study of disease. Consider the history of cholera in the 19th and 20th centuries. Examine the resurgence of cholera in Latin America. Raise questions of where and why. Begin to devise plan for studying the resurgence of cholera in Peru. Begin to gather sources. Begin digitizing warm-up exercise.

 Required Reading:


October 18: Project Planning and Data Sources for GIS

Topics and tasks: Develop plan for cholera study. Consider map and data sources and decide how these will be used. Address difficulties of gathering information from varied sources and of data quality. Develop scheme for organizing and coding data. Begin digitizing map coverages.

Required Reading:

Supplemental Reading:


October 25: Coordinate Systems

Topics and tasks: Raise issue of establishing and measuring location. Address issue of how and why coordinate systems differ. Survey major issues and terms. Introduce principle land survey and coordinate systems employed in Texas. Raise issues of accuracy and precision. Raise further issues in cartographic design and composition.

Required Reading:

 Supplemental Reading:

November 1: Database Concepts and Design

Topics and tasks: Consider more general issues of project planning. Examine how databases model real-world phenomena and processes. Organize attribute information. Develop scheme for analyzing and symbolizing relationships. Map coverages completed.

 Required Reading:

Supplemental Reading:

November 8: Introduction to Final Project

Topics and tasks: Overview of the Hydrodynamics of the Woodbine Aquifer, Collin County, Texas

November 15: Overview of WebGIS

Topics and tasks:

Required Reading:


November 22: Principles of Hypertext Design and Publishing

Topics and tasks: Consider principles for organizing Web-based reports and publications.

 Required Reading:


November 29: Principles of Hypertext Design and Publishing

Topics and tasks: Consider how principles of graphic design apply to Web-based publishing.

Required Reading: None.

Supplemental Reading:


Last revised 2000.3.27.  KEF: k.foote@colorado.edu