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GIS 205
GIS Applications
(using ArcGIS 10.1 or 10.2)

Revised: January, 2015
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: due to increased spam my email address will be provided the first day of class
Class Web Page:
Textbook: GIS Tutorial 1: Basic Workbook for ArcGIS 10.1 (DO NOT buy the older 10.0 version as it is very different), by Wilpen L. Gorr & Kristen S. Kurland, ISBN 978-1-58948-335-4, ESRI Press ©2013. Search using the title, author, or ISBN for pricing at various discounters/used book dealers, or pay full price at the college bookstore.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: GIS 205 GIS Applications. This course in Geographic Information Systems concepts covers map components (including a brief discussion of coordinate systems), spatial relationships, and management or relationships description through tabular data. There will be extensive work using spatial data in ArcGIS. A knowledge of Windows will be advantageous. Prerequisites: None, but students are advised to take GIS109 if not familiar with technical programs and the Windows operating system.

Welcome to GIS 205 GIS Applications. This course is an introduction to ArcGIS's database and mapping capabilities. This class assumes you have a basic understanding of computers including how to create, organize, & copy computer files and folders within Windows and need to know how to use one of the most widely used GIS programs. The more significant assignments as well as the topics to be discussed are shown in the schedule at the end of this document. All other assignment due dates will be noted when the assignments are given during class. Additional time outside of class will be needed to complete assignments. To complete assignments students may use any open GBC computer lab or, if available, their own computer and appropriate software.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class may be taught in a live classroom setting, online via WebCampus, or as a hybrid class. You are expected to participate in weekly discussions, exercises, as well as various quizzes, projects, and other class activities. The schedule of reading and assignments is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally, as handouts in class, or via the WebCampus lesson modules.

CLASS PARTICIPATION: In the on-line version of this class, you are expected to post at least one original discussion and one response to other classmates' posts every week and your posts should relate to some aspect of the material we are covering during each lesson or some related issue. In the live version you are expect to be similarly prepared for and participate in every class discussion. Whether live or online, participation in class discussion is a significant portion of your grade as it indicates how well you understand the concepts being covered.

INSTRUCTOR CONTACT: I can be reached either at my office phone number shown above or via the WebCampus email, you can drop in during my office hours, or make an appointment to see me at other times. Office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site. The schedule of reading assignments, homework and tests is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally or as handouts in class.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Each student should have a flash drive, 512 mb or larger, to either store (if working in a GBC lab) or backup (if working at home) their data files and work. If you wish to work on assignments at home you will also need a computer that has at a minimum: 1.5 GB or more of free hard disk space, Windows XP or newer, and at least a 1.0 GHz processor. In addition to the software provided with the book and the zip/unzip software freely downloadable from 7Zip, you will also need access to a spreadsheet and word processor such Microsoft Excel and Word or the free, open source OpenOffice suite.

The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. the functionality of ESRI's ArcGIS applications, including: ArcCatalog, ArcMap, and ArcToolbox;
  2. using and organizing a variety of spatial data types and their metadata;
  3. map scale and projections;
  4. editing (creating) new data in a GIS, including georeferencing & tabular data;
  5. creating visually pleasing, effective map layouts with appropriate symbology;
  6. geocoding addresses;
  7. application of tools and concepts to real-world GIS data and problems;
Learner Outcome Assessments
Measurement Method Learner Outcomes
Class Discussion 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Assignments & Hands On Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Quizzes/Exams 1, 2, 3, 6
Class Project 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


GRADING POLICY:This is a letter grade class an A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% or less or W=Official Withdrawal if done before the withdrawal deadline. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 25% on class participation and discussion, 25% on your assignments, 25% on your project, and 25% on quiz results. All assignments are due by the beginning of the next class unless otherwise indicated by the instructor when they are assigned.

QUIZ/EXAM PROCEDURES: All quizzes/exams will be objective, e.g. true/false, multiple choice, fill-in the blank, etc.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. Three (3) unexcused absences can result in a failing grade, in an on-line class an absence is one week when you do not participate in class or contact the instructor.

OTHER POLICIES: The student rights & responsibilities policy stated in the current GBC Catalog apply to this class. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. This syllabus is not a contract and is subject to reasonable changes as the class proceeds.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Great Basin College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A qualified student must furnish current verification of disability. The Director of Services for Students with Disabilities will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing the appropriate and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. For more information or further assistance, please call (775) 753-2271.

CAMPUS SECURITY: GBC is committed to the safety of our students and has a duty to promote awareness and prevention programs for violence on campus under the Jeanne Clery Act as well as the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination Act) and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), which are amendments to Clery. Acts of violence include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Acts of violence can occur on the physical campus or centers of GBC in addition to field placement sites, clinical practice settings, and other places where college or class activities occur. As well, the online environment at GBC is considered a GBC site. If you experience any incidence where your safety has been threatened or violated, or if you feel threatened or harassed, immediately report this to me, any center director, faculty, or staff member, or directly to the Director of Environmental Health, Safety & Security (775-753-2115) or the Vice President for Student Services (775-753-2282).


You should have read and be prepared to discuss each week's topics by the beginning of class. We will have significant hands on experiences with most lessons.

Readings, topics, major assignments, & quizzes/exams by week:
(Please note: this schedule is subject to change based on class progress & other factors)
Week    Chapter(s) Topics Assignments*
Week 1: Getting started 
Chapter 1 
Web Campus & this class
ArcGIS intro & review
A1-1, A1-2*
Week 2: Chapter 2  Map design A2-1, A2-2, A2-3*
Week 3: Chapter 3  GIS outputs A3-1*, A3-2*, A3-3, A3-4
(*submit A3-1 or A3-2, your choice)
Week 4: Chapter 4  File geodatabases A4-1*, A4-2
Week 5: Chapter 5  Spatial data A5-1*, A5-2
Week 6: Quiz 1  covering chapters 1-5 Project proposal due
Week 7: Chapter 6  Geoprocessing A6-1, A6-2*, A6-3
Week 8: Chapter 7  Digitizing A7-1*, A7-2
Week 9: Chapter 8  Geocoding A8-1, A8-2*, A8-3
Week 10: Chapter 9  Basic spatial analysis A9-1*, A9-2, A9-3
Week 11: Chapter 10  3D Analyst Ext. A10-1, A10-2, A10-3
(*submit 1, your choice)
Week 12: Chapter 11  Spatial Analyst Ext. A11-1, A11-2*
Week 13: Quiz 2  covering chapters 6-11 Project outline due
Week 14:   Collect & organize
project data
Week 15:   Data analysis & create
presentation maps
Week 16:   Wrap it up! Project is due

*The assignments marked with an asterisk (*) are the ones you are required to turn in for grading. To get the most out of this class you should do all the assignments at the end of each chapter even though not all will be graded. On-line students should refer to the Welcome and Expectations web page of this class for instructions on how to submit the required labs.

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