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
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
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.
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
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
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.
March 4: More Balcones Canyonlands Habitat Project.
Topics and tasks: Consider issues of collating and compositing datasources for habitat studies.
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.
- Project Lifecycle and Project Planning .
- Campbell, Heather. 1991. Organizational Issues in Managing Geographic Information. In
Handling Geography Information: Methodology and Potential Applications, ed. Ian
Masser and Michael Blakemore, 259-282. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. (PCL Reserve)
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
- Antenucci, John C; Brown, Kay; Croswell, Peter L.; Kevany, Michael J.; and Archer, Hugh
N. 1991. "Costs and Benefits" and "Implementation." Chaps. 4 and 10 in Geographic
Information Systems: A Guide to the Technology. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. (PCL
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.
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.