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Duluth Campus

Geographic Information Science Minor

Geography, Urban, Environmental & Sustain Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2011
  • Required credits in this minor: 24 to 25
  • At present, this program does not include plans to offer the program at other sites. Discussions have included delivery of parts of this program via WEB based courses, but additional staff, faculty and development funds beyond the faculty requirement would be needed to expand the program to off campus sites.
The minor in geographic information science has as its core the study and use of geographic information systems (GIS). Central to this program are the theoretical and applied fundamentals of the collection, management, analysis, and representation of spatial data. The program builds on this core by exploring both traditional and novel methods for geo-visualization. Methods include teaching about various remote sensing technologies used to collect and classify remotely sensed data and how to use these technologies, critically discussing the implications of geo-spatial technologies on individuals and society, demonstrating how geo-spatial technologies are used effectively in urban and regional planning processes, and by exploring applications of GIS to environmental, resource and policy/management issues. The minor interweaves well with majors in computer science, statistics, mathematics, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, criminology, geology, biology, chemistry, engineering, and environmental sciences.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
Students must complete 3 credits before admission to the program.
To be accepted into the GIScience minor program, students must first complete GEOG 2552 and have an overall GPA of at least 2.00. A full understanding of basic computer use is expected. Students with majors or minors (geography, environmental studies, and urban and regional studies) in the Geography Department are not eligible for the GIScience minor, but they can enroll in the GIScience Certificate Program.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Minor Requirements
Required courses (24-25 cr)
To be accepted into the GIScience minor program, students must first complete GEOG 2552 and have an overall GPA of at least 2.00.
GEOG 2552 - Introduction to Maps and Geospatial Information [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
GIS 3563 - Geographic Information Science I: Theory and Analysis (4.0 cr)
GIS 3564 - Geographic Information Science II: Applied GIS (4.0 cr)
GEOG 1304 - Human Geography [LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
Take 3 or more course(s) totaling 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GEOG 3532 - Map Design and Geographic Visualization (4.0 cr)
· GIS 3533 - Multimedia, Animated and Internet Mapping (4.0 cr)
· GIS 3580 - Earth Imagery (4.0 cr)
· GIS 4585 - Applied Statistics in GIS (4.0 cr)
· GIS 5571 - Geographic Information Science in Urban Analysis (4.0 cr)
· GIS 5572 - Environmental Application of GIS (4.0 cr)
· GIS 5573 - GIScience in Regional Sustainability Applications (4.0 cr)
· GIS 5581 - Digital Image Processing and Analysis (4.0 cr)
 
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· Geographic Information Science Minor
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GEOG 2552 - Introduction to Maps and Geospatial Information (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course will define a map and consider maps as tools for communication. Students will explore the effects of scale, projection, cartographic symbolization and generalization on the mapping process and resulting digital databases. Students will be introduced to spatial data models, types of spatial data and representation, and will study alternative or non-tradition map representations provided by GIS and Remote Sensing.
GIS 3563 - Geographic Information Science I: Theory and Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3564 or 4563 and 4564.
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Emphasizes the concepts needed to use GIS effectively for manipulating, querying, analyzing and visualizing spatial data. This course will provide an introduction to and basic skills with industry standard GIS software in a wide variety of applications in both the natural and social sciences. The course will cover basic data modeling, data manipulation, and analytical methods and implications of geospatial technologies on society. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3564 or 4563 and 4564.
GIS 3564 - Geographic Information Science II: Applied GIS
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course provides more hands-on skills with industry standard GIS software in a wide variety of applications in both the natural and social sciences. The course will cover the design aspects of application, as well as organizational and institutional aspects of applied GIScience. Lastly, the courses will consider ethics and geospatial information and a code of ethics for geospatial professionals. prereq: 3563; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3564 or 4563 and 4564.
GEOG 1304 - Human Geography (LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Ecological basis of human existence. Human population patterns and cultural diffusion. Agricultural geography. Political geography. Geography of language, religion, and ethnic groups. Effects of urbanization; economic geography.
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Earth-sun relations, maps and globes, and major factors of the natural environment, including water resources, landforms, weather and climate, natural vegetation, and soils. (3 hrs lect, 2 hrs lab)
GEOG 3532 - Map Design and Geographic Visualization
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Thematic mapping of qualitative and quantitative data. Data measurement levels and their relationships to geographic phenomena and map symbols. Appropriate treatment (both statistical and representational) of map data. Designing and creating maps using computers. (2 hrs lect, 4 hrs lab) prereq: 2552 or instructor consent; Stat 1411 recommended
GIS 3533 - Multimedia, Animated and Internet Mapping
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
In an age where the user has increasingly become their own mapmaker (e.g., Mapquest, online GIS) this course examines recent issues in cartography related to map animation, the Internet, geovisualization, and on-demand cartographic systems-focusing on the new cartographic challenges and opportunities associated with interactive, digital mapping systems. This class will examine both theoretical and practical issues in the design of effective digital maps and mapping systems. prereq: GEOG 3532; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3533
GIS 3580 - Earth Imagery
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is a selective overview of the methods used for imaging the Earth, it's atmosphere, and it's subsurface. The main objective is to expose students to some of the common methods of Earth Imaging and provide them with a hands-on experience. This course introduces airphotos, satellite imaging, and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). By the end of the course students will be able to comfortably analyze airphotos, Landsat and other satellite data, and create and analyze DEMs. prereq: 2552; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3580
GIS 4585 - Applied Statistics in GIS
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
The aim of this course is to provide GIS students or students in related fields or interested in spatial data analysis, with little to no previous statistical knowledge, with the basic skills needed to question and analyze data and reach valuable conclusions. Many of the methods covered in this course are commonly used in various fields of social or environmental studies, in economy and management, in sciences and engineering: statistics are a linqua franca that is often a key element of interdisciplinary work. however, there will be an emphasis on the specificity of date that varies in space, and methods specific to spatial analysis will be introduced. Through the theoretical background will be discussed, the class will focus more on application that on theory, through a problem solving approach. We will use a variety of software, mostly ArcGIS, QGIS and MS Excel. prereq: 3563; and STAT 1411 preferred; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 3585 or GIS 3585; no grad credit.
GIS 5571 - Geographic Information Science in Urban Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
This advanced course serves to provide students with an opportunity to explore the many applications of geographic information systems in local government, transportation development, and community planning. Students will learn how GIS can be used to effectively carry out urban and regional planning tasks. Several lab projects will be focused around advanced tasks in GIS analysis using land-use planning subject areas and will use Duluth area data. Several guess lectures will focus on current GIS projects and "real-world" experience. Students will gain a basic understanding of GIS project planning and data management. Software used will be ESRI ArcGIS. prereq: 3563 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 5571
GIS 5572 - Environmental Application of GIS
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to ArcGIS and its applications to the environmental issues such as natural hazards, forest management, contaminated sites, soil erosion, habitat assessment, and regional planning. prereq: 3563 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 5572
GIS 5573 - GIScience in Regional Sustainability Applications
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
This course serves to provide students with an opportunity to explore the many applications of geographic information systems in environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and community planning for the future. Students will learn how GIS can be used to effectively carry out short term GIS projects. Focus will be on current topics such as energy use calculations, sustainable community development, watershed planning and transit planning in the regional area. Several guest lectures will focus on current GIS applications Software used will be ESRI ArcGIS. prereq: 3563 or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 5573
GIS 5581 - Digital Image Processing and Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This advanced remote sensing course focuses on theories and applications of digital image processing and provides students with knowledge and skills of advance digital image processing and analysis techniques. Topics include image display and visualization, methods for geometric and radiometric corrections, image enhancement, image classification and change detection, digital image processing, analysis of hyperspectral and active microwave images. prereq: 3580 or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 4580 or GEOG 5581