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Twin Cities Campus

Geographic Information Science Minor

Geography, Environment, Society
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2019
  • Required credits in this minor: 16
Students completing the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor develop knowledge and skills in geographic information science (GISc). GISc enhances studentsí marketability in the workplace and provides many opportunities for intellectual and professional development. GISc examines geospatial technologies and their underlying principles, applications, and societal dimensions. These technologies include mapping, in-vehicle navigation systems, imagery taken from airplanes and satellites, analysis and modeling of social and natural processes, and visualization and data mining of complex information. Research using geospatial technologies addresses a diverse array of challenges in areas including water resources, environmental hazards, epidemiology, agriculture, housing, transportation, and more.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Several of the courses for the minor have prerequisites that must be satisfied first. Admission to the minor does not imply automatic enrollment in individual courses. Students may combine the GIS minor with any other major or minor, except the Geography BS with a sub-plan in Geographic Information Science.
Core Courses
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling 7 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
Basic
Take exactly 1 course(s) from the following:
· GEOG 3561 - Principles of Geographic Information Science (4.0 cr)
or GEOG 5561 - Principles of Geographic Information Science (4.0 cr)
· FNRM 3131 - Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Natural Resources [TS] (4.0 cr)
· Advanced
Take exactly 1 course(s) from the following:
· ESPM 3031 - Applied Global Positioning Systems for Geographic Information Systems (3.0 cr)
· FNRM 3262 - Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resources and Environment (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3511 - Principles of Cartography (4.0 cr)
· GEOG 5563 - Advanced Geographic Information Science (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 5564 - Urban Geographic Information Science and Analysis (3.0 cr)
Electives
No more than two courses with the same designator may be used to fulfill the Electives requirement.
Take 3 or more course(s) totaling 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
CSCI
Take no more than 2 course(s) from the following:
· CSCI 4707 - Practice of Database Systems (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5115 - User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5715 - From GPS and Virtual Globes to Spatial Computing (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 4041 - Algorithms and Data Structures (4.0 cr)
or CSCI 4041H - Algorithms and Data Structures (4.0 cr)
· ESPM
Take no more than 2 course(s) from the following:
· ESPM 3031 - Applied Global Positioning Systems for Geographic Information Systems (3.0 cr)
· ESPM 4295W - GIS in Environmental Science and Management [WI] (4.0 cr)
· FNRM
Take no more than 2 course(s) from the following:
· FNRM 3262 - Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resources and Environment (3.0 cr)
· FNRM 4515 - Field Remote Sensing and Resource Survey (2.0 cr)
· FNRM 5412 - Advanced Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis (3.0 cr)
· FNRM 5216 - Geodesy, Coordinate, and Surveying Calculations for GIS Professionals (1.0 cr)
· GEOG
Take no more than 2 course(s) from the following:
· GEOG 3511 - Principles of Cartography (4.0 cr)
· GEOG 3541 - Principles of Geocomputing (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 5543 - Advanced Geocomputing (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 5564 - Urban Geographic Information Science and Analysis (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 5588 - Advanced Geovisualization (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3531 - Numerical Spatial Analysis (4.0 cr)
or GEOG 5531 - Numerical Spatial Analysis (4.0 cr)
· GIS
Take no more than 2 course(s) from the following:
· GIS 5571 - ArcGIS I (3.0 cr)
· GIS 5572 - ArcGIS II (3.0 cr)
· GIS 5574 - Web GIS and Services (3.0 cr)
· GIS 5577 - Spatial Database Design and Administration (3.0 cr)
· GIS 5578 - GIS Programming (3.0 cr)
· SOIL
Take no more than 2 course(s) from the following:
· SOIL 4111 - Introduction to Precision Agriculture (3.0 cr)
 
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GEOG 3561 - Principles of Geographic Information Science
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02490
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to study of geographic information systems (GIS) for geography and non-geography students. Topics include GIS application domains, data models and sources, analysis methods and output techniques. Lectures, readings and hands-on experience with GIS software. prereq: Jr or sr
GEOG 5561 - Principles of Geographic Information Science
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02490
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the study of geographic information systems (GIS) for geography and non-geography students. Topics include GIS application domains, data models and sources, analysis methods and output techniques. Lectures, reading, and hands-on experience with GIS software. prereq: grad
FNRM 3131 - Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Natural Resources (TS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: FR 3131/5131
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Spatial data development/analysis in science/management of natural resources. Data structures/sources/collection/quality. Geodesy, map projections, spatial/tabular data analysis. Digital terrain analysis, cartographic modeling, modeling perspectives, limits of technology. Lab exercises. Both onsite and fully online options for course enrollment. prereq: Soph or jr or sr or UHP fr
ESPM 3031 - Applied Global Positioning Systems for Geographic Information Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00768 - ESPM 3031/ESPM 5031
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
GPS principles, operations, techniques to improve accuracy. Datum, projections, and coordinate systems. Differential correction, accuracy assessments discussed/applied in lab exercises. Code/carrier phase GPS used in exercises. GPS handheld units, PDA based ArcPad/GPS equipment. Transferring field data to/from desktop systems, integrating GPS data with GIS. prereq: Intro GIS course
FNRM 3262 - Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resources and Environment
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00372 - FNRM 3262/FNRM 5262
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introductory principles and techniques of remote sensing and geospatial analysis applied to mapping and monitoring land and water resources from local to global scales. Examples of applications include: Land cover mapping and change detection, forest and natural resource inventory, water quality monitoring, and global change analysis. The lab provides hands-on experience working with satellite, aircraft, and drone imagery, and image processing methods and software. Prior coursework in Geographic Information Systems and introductory Statistics is recommended. Prereq: None, but prior coursework in GIS and Statistics is recommended.
GEOG 3511 - Principles of Cartography
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02579 - Geog 3511/Geog 5511
Typically offered: Every Spring
History and development of US academic cartography, coordinate systems and map projections, data classification and map generalization, methods of thematic symbolization, and cartographic design. A series of computer-based lab exercises will apply conceptual lecture material to the creation of thematic maps. prereq: 3 cr in geog or instr consent
GEOG 5563 - Advanced Geographic Information Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced study of geographic information systems (GIS). Topics include spatial data models, topology, data encoding, data quality, database management, spatial analysis tools and visualization techniques. Hands-on experience using an advanced vector GIS package. prereq: B or better in 3561 or 5561 or instr consent
GEOG 5564 - Urban Geographic Information Science and Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Core concepts in urban geographic information science including sources for urban geographical and attribute data (including census data), urban data structures (focusing on the TIGER data structure), urban spatial analyses (including location-allocation models), geodemographic analysis, network analysis, and the display of urban data. prereq: 3561 or 5561
CSCI 4707 - Practice of Database Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSci 4707/5707/INET 4707
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Concepts, conceptual data models, case studies, common data manipulation languages, logical data models, database design, facilities for database security/integrity, applications. prereq: 4041 or instr consent
CSCI 5115 - User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theory, design, programming, and evaluation of interactive application interfaces. Human capabilities and limitations, interface design and engineering, prototyping and interface construction, interface evaluation, and topics such as data visualization and World Wide Web. Course is built around a group project. prereq: 4041 or instr consent
CSCI 5715 - From GPS and Virtual Globes to Spatial Computing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Mathematical concepts, geo-information, representations, algorithms, data-structures/access methods, analysis, architectures, interfaces, reasoning, time. prereq: Familiarity with Java, C++, or Python
CSCI 4041 - Algorithms and Data Structures
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02015
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Rigorous analysis of algorithms/implementation. Algorithm analysis, sorting algorithms, binary trees, heaps, priority queues, heapsort, balanced binary search trees, AVL trees, hash tables and hashing, graphs, graph traversal, single source shortest path, minimum cost spanning trees. prereq: [(1913 or 1933) and 2011] or instr consent; cannot be taken for grad CSci cr
CSCI 4041H - Algorithms and Data Structures
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02015
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Rigorous analysis of algorithms/implementation. Algorithm analysis, sorting algorithms, binary trees, heaps, priority queues, heapsort, balanced binary search trees, AVL trees, hash tables/hashing, graphs, graph traversal, single source shortest path, minimum cost spanning trees. prereq: [(1913 or 1933) and 2011, honors student] or instr consent. Cannot be taken for Grad CSci cr
ESPM 3031 - Applied Global Positioning Systems for Geographic Information Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00768 - ESPM 3031/ESPM 5031
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
GPS principles, operations, techniques to improve accuracy. Datum, projections, and coordinate systems. Differential correction, accuracy assessments discussed/applied in lab exercises. Code/carrier phase GPS used in exercises. GPS handheld units, PDA based ArcPad/GPS equipment. Transferring field data to/from desktop systems, integrating GPS data with GIS. prereq: Intro GIS course
ESPM 4295W - GIS in Environmental Science and Management (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: FNRM 3131 or Geog 3561 or #
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Application of geographic information science and technologies (GIS) in complex environmental problems. Students gain experience in spatial data collection, database development, and spatial analysis, including GNSS and field attribute collection, image interpretation, and existing data fusion, raster/vector data integration and analysis, information extraction from LiDAR data, DEM conditioning and hydrologic analysis, neighborhood analysis, bulk processing and automation, and scripting. Problems vary depending on topics, often with extra-University partners. prereq: FNRM 3131 or Geog 3561 or instr consent
FNRM 3262 - Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resources and Environment
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00372 - FNRM 3262/FNRM 5262
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introductory principles and techniques of remote sensing and geospatial analysis applied to mapping and monitoring land and water resources from local to global scales. Examples of applications include: Land cover mapping and change detection, forest and natural resource inventory, water quality monitoring, and global change analysis. The lab provides hands-on experience working with satellite, aircraft, and drone imagery, and image processing methods and software. Prior coursework in Geographic Information Systems and introductory Statistics is recommended. Prereq: None, but prior coursework in GIS and Statistics is recommended.
FNRM 4515 - Field Remote Sensing and Resource Survey
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02376 - FNRM 4515/FNRM 5615
Typically offered: Every Summer
Field applications of remote sensing, sampling/measurement methods for inventory/mapping of forest and other natural resources. Offered at the Cloquet Forestry Center.
FNRM 5412 - Advanced Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: 3262 or grad student or #
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course builds on the introductory remote sensing class, FNRM 3262/5262. It provides a detailed treatment of advanced remote sensing and geospatial theory and methods including biophysics of remote sensing, measurements and sensors, data transforms, data fusion, lidar processing and derivatives, advanced classification algorithms (including Object-Based Image Analysis), multitemporal analysis, and empirical modeling. Independent lab activities will be used to apply the course topics to real-world problems. Prior coursework in Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, and statistics is necessary. prereq: 3262 or grad student or instr consent
FNRM 5216 - Geodesy, Coordinate, and Surveying Calculations for GIS Professionals
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Where exactly are we? How do we define and refine geographic locations on a lumpy, spinning, unstable planet? On course completion students will understand concepts and practices that are at the very foundation of GIS: geodesy and geographic projections. They will have a working knowledge of geodetic datums and datum evolution, be able to make common geodetic and coordinate geometry calculations, and solve common problems that arise during datum and coordinate system conversions while engaged in the practice of GIS.
GEOG 3511 - Principles of Cartography
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02579 - Geog 3511/Geog 5511
Typically offered: Every Spring
History and development of US academic cartography, coordinate systems and map projections, data classification and map generalization, methods of thematic symbolization, and cartographic design. A series of computer-based lab exercises will apply conceptual lecture material to the creation of thematic maps. prereq: 3 cr in geog or instr consent
GEOG 3541 - Principles of Geocomputing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02617 - Geog 3541/Geog 5541
Typically offered: Every Spring
The availability of computing infrastructures such as high-performance and cloud computing, high-speed networks, and rich data has led to a new scientific paradigm using computational approaches, termed computational science. Geocomputation is the "application of a computational science paradigm to study a wide range of problems in geographical and earth systems (the geo) contexts" (Openshaw, 2014). This course will introduce students to geocomputation as well as related areas including big spatial data, and cyberinfrastructure. Students will engage in hands-on exercises learning principles and best-practices in geocomputing. The ability to program is an essential skill for GIScientists. Learning to program takes time and a lot of practice, and in this course students will learn how to develop programs in the Python programming language to solve geospatial problems.
GEOG 5543 - Advanced Geocomputing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
The availability of computing infrastructures such as high-performance and cloud computing, highspeed networks, and rich data has led to a new scientific paradigm using computational approaches, termed computational science. Geocomputation is the "application of a computational science paradigm to study a wide range of problems in geographical and earth systems (the geo) contexts" (Openshaw, 2014). This course will delve into advanced topics in geocomputation as well as related areas ranging from geographic information and spatial big data to cyberinfrastructure and parallel computation. Students will engage in hands-on exercises learning principles and best practices in geocomputing while using cutting-edge computational infrastructures.
GEOG 5564 - Urban Geographic Information Science and Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Core concepts in urban geographic information science including sources for urban geographical and attribute data (including census data), urban data structures (focusing on the TIGER data structure), urban spatial analyses (including location-allocation models), geodemographic analysis, network analysis, and the display of urban data. prereq: 3561 or 5561
GEOG 5588 - Advanced Geovisualization
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
The generation and use of geographic information has become an integral part of our daily life, science, and technology. This has led to increasing interest in the design and development of interactive maps and dynamic geographic visualizations in 2D, 3D, and Web environments. The Advanced Geovisualization course intends to equip students with the knowledge and advanced technical skills needed to design and implement effective maps and create dynamic and interactive visualizations using geospatial data sets.
GEOG 3531 - Numerical Spatial Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Geog 3531/5531
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Introduction to theoretical and applied aspects of geographical quantitative methods with a focus on spatial analysis. Emphasis placed on the analysis of geographical data for spatial problem solving in both the human and physical areas of the discipline.
GEOG 5531 - Numerical Spatial Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Geog 3531/5531
Typically offered: Every Fall
Applied/theoretical aspects of geographical quantitative methods for spatial analysis. Emphasizes analysis of geographical data for spatial problem solving in human/physical areas.
GIS 5571 - ArcGIS I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
First of a two-course series focusing on ArcGIS Desktop. Overview of ArcGIS system and its use for spatial data processing. Data capture, editing, geometric transformations, map projections, topology, Python scripting, and map production. prereq: [GEOG 5561 or equiv, status in MGIS program, familiarity with computer operating systems] or instr consent
GIS 5572 - ArcGIS II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continues GIS 5571. Raster analysis, dynamic segmentation, geometric networks, geocoding, Python scripting, and data interoperability. Substantial projects include map and poster design and production. prereq: [5571, [GEOG 5561 or equiv], in MGIS program] or instr consent
GIS 5574 - Web GIS and Services
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Plan, design, develop, publish web-based GIS solution. Build websites, prepare data for web. Commercial software, Open Source software, volunteer geographic information, open GIS standards/developing web GIS application. Hands-on experience with variety of web GIS technologies/software. prereq: [GEOG 5561 or equiv, in MGIS program] or instr consent
GIS 5577 - Spatial Database Design and Administration
Credits: 3.0 [max 1.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Spatial database design, development planning/management, maintenance, security, access/distribution, and documentation. prereq: instr consent
GIS 5578 - GIS Programming
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: #
Typically offered: Every Spring
Programming techniques using Python and other languages specifically relating to GIS technologies. prereq: instr consent
SOIL 4111 - Introduction to Precision Agriculture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Soil, landscape, and crop spatial variability. GIS, DEM, GPS technologies. Variable rate machinery, PA software, remote sensing. Geostatistics, sampling, experimental designs. Precision integrated crop management. Data acquisition, processing, and management. Socio-economical and e-marketing aspects. prereq: Basic sciences, statistics, soil, agronomy