Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Applications

This course explores Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications. GIS serves as a framework for organizing knowledge about places and for developing logical models of the ways places operate under existing and proposed conditions. The course surveys the various forms and sources of spatially referenced information, how these originate, are obtained, and how they are organized as an infrastructure for administration and scholarship. Students will gain experience building logical models that transform source data and simulate place-based relationships and processes. Lectures will review the evolution and theory of the primary types of GIS and applications in urban planning, urban design, and environmental modeling. Hands-on workshops will provide experience in the creation of maps, three dimensional urban scenes, and logical process models. Emphasis is placed on developing best practices for organizing resources for collaborative research, and on establishing appropriate levels of confidence in the information obtained from maps and GIS models.