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Geographic Information Systems


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

The overall objective of this course is to enhance students' capabilities in handling and analyzing geographic data. In particular, the successful completion of this course will enable students to
  • have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding on the fundamental GIS theories and techniques
  • be familiar with and knowledgeable in various geographic/geospatial data
  • have a good command of the recent ArcGIS and its extensions
  • conduct GIS mapping, analysis and visualization tasks independently
  • design and implement GIS database
  • develop basic GIS functions


The course will cover a broad spectrum of theories and practices in geographic information systems. It starts with the fundamental concepts and elements in geographic science and technology. Data modeling and integration methods will then be discussed, followed by various geospatial analysis approaches for both vector and raster data. The course will highlight terrain, watershed, viewshed, site selection and network analyses. Both 2-D and 3-D mapping and visualization will be practiced. Finally, geographic database design will be elaborated with emphasis on various applications.

Topics Covered:

Geographic data and GIS functions; Raster data model; Terrain characteristics; Watershed and viewshed analyses; Hill-shading and 3-D visualization; Vector data model and topology; Multi layer spatial analysis and site selection; Network modeling and analysis; Web GIS and Internet mapping; Object-relation model; Geospatial database; prime geostatistics.


  • Senior or graduate status or under the discretion of the instructor
  • Preferably GIS knowledge or an introductory GIS course or training
  • College calculus or equivalent

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50

Web Address:

Web Content:

Syllabus, lecture notes, and homework assignments.


Once midterm exam


Chang, Kang-tsung, 2016. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, McGraw Hill Higher Education, 8th Edition, ISBN 978-0-07-809513-9, MHID 0-07-809513-1

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Computer Requirements. ArcGIS can be accessed through Software Remote service provided by Purdue (

ProEd Minimum Requirements: