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GIS 270
GIS Extensions

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: There is no textbook for this class since it is an advanced project and exploration class.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: GIS 270 GIS Extensions. Advanced ArcGIS is a course designed for those proficient in ArcGIS and wanting to improve its functionality. Areas of study include the major extensions used in ArcGIS including ArcGIS, Spatial Analyst, 3-D Analyst, and Network Analyst as well as others. Both raster and vector data will be used. Emphasis will be on GIS as a decision making tool. Prerequisite: GIS 205

Welcome to GIS 270 GIS Extensions. This course is an advanced class in the use of GIS and some of the more common GIS extensions in decision making. This class assumes you have a solid understanding of ArcMap, as well as a basic understanding of such essential cartographic principles like scale & projections, and know how to make visually pleasing and cartographically correct map layouts. 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 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. In week 12 you will need to choose to either explore additional ESRI modules and write a synopsis of how the various extensions can be used in your career path or to create a GIS mini-project. The synopsis or mini-project will be due in week 16 in lieu of a final exam.

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 via my office phone number shown above or 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.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Each student should have a flash drive, 4 GB or larger, to backup and store your work. (If you wish to work on assignments at home you will also need a computer that has at a minimum: 2 GB RAM, a 2.0 GHz or faster processor, 5 GB or more of free hard disk space, and Windows 7 or newer.) In addition to the ArcGIS software provided by your instructor or in a GBC computer lab, you may also need zip/unzip software like 7-zip, a spreadsheet and a word processor such as those available in either the Microsoft Office or OpenOffice suites.

The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. use both vector & raster data as well as understand their use & structure in a GIS;
  2. apply spatial analysis processes to a variety of problems;
  3. understand the major functions available in Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, & other extensions;
  4. use the Model Builder in ArcMap;
  5. apply some of the more common tools available concerning geodatabases and customization of ArcGIS;
Learner Outcome Assessments
Class Discussion 1, 2, 3, 5
Assignments & Hands On Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


GRADING POLICY: Your grade will be based 40% on the labs, 30% on the exams, and 30% on participation & discussion. 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. All assignments will be due one week from the time they are given.

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. Additional assignments may be given verbally or as handouts in class.

*Readings, topics, & major assignments by week:
(Please note: the following schedule is subject to change based on class progress)
Week 1: Getting Started with the Geodatabase ESRI module
Week 2: Turning Data into Information Using ArcGIS 10 ESRI modules 1 & 2
Week 3: Turning Data into Information Using ArcGIS 10 ESRI modules 3 & 4
Week 4: Turning Data into Information Using ArcGIS 10 ESRI modules 5 & 6
Week 5: Exploring Spatial Patterns in Your Data Using ArcGIS ESRI module
Week 6: Solving Spatial Problems Using ArcGIS ESRI module
Week 7: Basics of Raster Data (for ArcGIS 10)
Displaying Raster Data Using ArcGIS
ESRI modules
Week 8: Distance Analysis Using ArcGIS ESRI module
Week 9: Finding Geographic Data in ArcGIS ESRI module
Week 10: Building Models for GIS Analysis Using ArcGIS ESRI module
Week 11: Network Analysis Using ArcGIS ESRI module
Week 12: Using Lidar Data in ArcGIS 10
mini-project proposal OR
ESRI module
optional modules
Week 13: 3D Visualization Techniques Using ArcGIS 10
3D Analysis of Surfaces and Features Using ArcGIS 10
ESRI modules
Week 14: project work OR optional ESRI module
Week 15: project work OR optional ESRI module
Week 16: mini-project OR synopsis is due

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Original content on this website created by Ed Nickel
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at
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