Geographical information systems (GIS) are powerful tools for organizing, analyzing, and displaying spatial data. GIS has applications in a wide variety of fields including the natural sciences, public policy, business, and the humanities; literally any field that uses spatially distributed information. In this course we will explore the fundamentals of GIS with an emphasis on practical application of GIS to problems from a range of disciplines. The course will cover the basic theory of GIS, data collection and input, data management, spatial analysis, visualization, and map preparation. Coursework will include lecture, hands-on activities, and Service Learning projects allowing students to put their new GIS skills to use solving community problems. Small groups of students will work closely with community groups to design a GIS, collect and analyze data, and draft a professional quality report to the community.
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