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CCOG for GEO 265 Fall 2023

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Course Number:
GEO 265
Course Title:
Intro to GIS & Mapping Techniques
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Provides an overview of how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map and understand the Earth's cultural and physical features through hands-on projects. Introduces fundamental principles of mapping, cartography, creating and working with geospatial data, and asking spatial questions. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Analyze Earth’s cultural, social and physical features using GIS.
  • Apply GIS workflows to address geospatial problems and/or questions.
  • Effectively communicate and present project results in oral, written and map forms.
  • Critique cartographic techniques and the (mis)use of information.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Geographic Techniques are embedded in a technological environment and focused on analyzing the world through a spatial context such as maps. Geospatial technologies and mapping challenge students to examine patterns of social, environmental, and cultural issues using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Students are required to know the difference between these different types of data in order to display it appropriately on a map and effectively communicate information. Students examine maps critically to understand their underlying biases, the potential misleading of information, and the impact of scale. By studying and creating maps, students learn about local and global issues, analyze patterns, and represent information visually.

Course Activities and Design

The material in this course is presented in a computer lab setting with classroom lecture, discussion, software demos, article review, multimedia, and project-based labs. Other methods may be implemented such as research, reflection papers and small group work.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, competencies and skills by any combination of the following:

  1. Project-based labs

  2. Midterm

  3. In class activities, discussions, and small group work

  4. Map critiques

  5. Final mapping project design & implementation

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  1. Cartography, map & information design

  2. GIS/geospatial terminology

  3. Geospatial technologies

  4. Quantitative & Qualitative data

  5. Industries using GIS and geospatial technologies

  6. Map Projections

  7. Geocoding 

  8. Digitzing

  9. Creating & editing geodatabases

  10. Spatial Analysis

Competencies and Skills:

  1. Create, edit, compile geospatial data

  2. Cartographic principles

  3. Asking spatial questions

  4. Conducting spatial analysis

  5. Critical thinking

  6. Problem solving

  7. Map critique