Course Description & Syllabus

This workshop and studio style course is an independent, student-driven and community-engaged experience with GIS and geovisualization. Most of our time will be devoted to skill building and problem solving in support of your use of mapping technologies with and for community partners (who may be from the University, community agencies, or local government).  Project partnerships will involve you in a full range of collaborative GIS and geovisualization activities: working with peers and community partners to learn about a study area, acquiring and preparing data for spatial analyses, communicating with those impacted by or implicated in these analyses, and producing compelling geographic representations. Projects may use conventional geospatial data and GIS platforms, or may use web-based mapping platforms and un-curated ‘volunteered’ geographic information. We will meet together as a large group once a week, using this time to explore and demonstrate technologies relevant to the projects and to discuss challenges and share resources and solutions across different projects. Teams will convene weekly for a collaborative consultation with TAs or with me. This class requires a high degree of accountability - you must be present for and involved in all scheduled class activities – and requires substantial time commitments outside of class time. Please plan accordingly! Prerequisite: 2.0 in Geography 461 or 462 or UDP422, or my permission.


The course is designed to build your capabilities for:

  • Mapping, spatial analysis and problem solving in GIS and other geovisualization platforms.
  • Scoping and implementing a GIS/geovisualization project in a team-based collaborative environment, including:
    • working with your team members and project partners to identify project goals,
    • acquiring, preparing and managing spatial data for analysis and mapping,
    • communicating with project partners to assess progress,
    • producing necessary maps and analyses.
  • Identifying knowledge/skills needed for a particular project and initiating independent and team-based learning to fill any gaps.
Send questions about this workspace to Sarah Elwood.