The Geographer's Craft, Spring 1996

Preliminary Schedule (Subject to Change)

Click here to view the index of lecture and discussion notes or a list of warmup exercises and assignments .

January 17: Introduction

Topics and tasks: Introduction to Microstation and computer-assisted drafting (CAD). Begin Your Village exercise.

January 22: CAD Basics

Topics and tasks: Overview and practice with Microstation.

January 29: More CAD

Topics and tasks: Map editing and compositing. Your Village due on 29 January. Begin Favorite Place map.

February 5: Questions of Accuracy and Precision. Managing Error.

Topics and tasks: Consider how accuracy and precision effect spatial datasets. Finish Favorite Place map by Friday. Introduce and begin Where is the Geography Building? project.

Required Reading:

February 12: Differential GPS

Topics and tasks: Introduce the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the ways it can be employed to collect locational data. Address strengths and limitations of various techniques. Add GPS positions to Geography Building project.

Required Reading:

February 19: Basics of Surveying.

Topics and tasks: Learn basics of using a total station for surveying and mapping. Consider problems of controlling accuracy and precision as applied to project. Add surveyed positions to Geography Building project.

February 26: GIS for Habitat Analysis

Topics and tasks: Consider ways in GIS is used for habitat analysis. Overview of endangered species issues in Central Texas. Begin Balcones Canyonlands Habitat project. Finish Where is the Geography Building? project by Friday.

Required Reading:

March 4: More Balcones Canyonlands Habitat Project.

Topics and tasks: Consider issues of collating and compositing datasources for habitat studies.

Required Reading:

March 11: Spring Break

March 18: Three-dimensional Modeling and Rendering

Topics and tasks: Consider methods for three-dimensional modeling and rendering. Finish Balcones Canyonlands Habitat project on Friday. Begin Greytown project.

March 25: Animation. Project Planning and System Design

Topics and tasks: Consider the human dimension in developing and implementing information technologies like GIS. Examine steps in project lifecycle. Finish Greytown project on Friday. Begin final project.

Required Readings:

April 1: More Project Planning and System Design

Topics and tasks: Consider how project lifecycle applies to final projects. Develop a plan and prep materials for project.

Required Reading:

April 8: GIS Policy Issues: Local, State, National, and International

Topics and tasks: Consider how GIS is being implemented at the local, state, national, and international levels. Examine problems arising from attempts at implementation and integration. Discuss some of the policy initiatives being pursued at the state and national levels. Survey ways in which GIS is being employed in global science stressing both the potential and problems of these projects. Discuss some of the problems that arise from managing and maintaining very large GIS datasets.

April 15: Economic, Legal, and Ethical Issues

Topics and tasks: Examine situations in which GIS and information technology intersect the law. Consider some of the ethical problems that arise from the use and misuse of information technology, including the issue of privacy.

Required Reading:

April 22: Trends in GIS Technologies

Topics and tasks: Consider current trends in hardware and software. Examine close connections now emerging between GIS and other information technologies.

April 29: Presentation of Final Projects

May 8 (Tuesday): Documentation of Final Project Due by 10:00 PM.


You will complete six projects during the semester. These will be weighted as follows: 1) Your Village, 5 percent; 2) Favorite Place, 5 percent; 3) Where is the Geography Building?, 15 percent; 4) Balcones Canyonland habitat, 25 percent; 5) Greytown, 10 percent; 6) Final project, 35 percent. Attendance and class participation counts for 5 percent of your final grade.

Last revised 22 January 1996. KEF.