Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geospatial Analytics

  • Format: online
This six-week, self-paced course provides an introductory-level overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geospatial Analytics. Note: This course is part of the Digital Transformation Certificate Program that offers three online courses available through MU Extension and Engagement: Business Data Analytics, Coding and Programming, and Geographical Information Systems. Individuals will receive a certificate of completion for each completed course, and those who complete all three courses will receive an MU Extension Continuing Education Certificate in Digital Technology.

Course Description

This course provides an introductory-level overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geospatial Analytics.

This course is part of the Digital Transformation Consortium, which can be reviewed by selecting this link, (Links to an external site.) that offers three online courses available through MU Extension and Engagement: Business Data Analytics, Coding and Programming, and Geographical Information Systems. Individuals will receive a certificate of completion for each completed course, and those who complete all three courses will receive an MU Extension Continuing Education Certificate in Digital Transformation.

Course Organization

 It is important to note that the schedule may change should the need arise. However, for the time being, the following schedule can be used as a guide of what subjects will be covered, as well as when they will be covered.

Date/Academic Week

Module Topics
Module Description Assessments

Week 1

Module 0 - Course Introduction, Resources, and FAQs

Module 1 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

In Module 0, we'll go over the functionality of this class and the tools needed to be successful throughout the duration of the course.

In Module 1, we'll discuss the core features of what constitutes a Geographic Information System (GIS) as well as the history of GIS.

Week 2

Module 2 - GIS Data In Module 2, we'll discuss the data models commonly encountered when working with GIS.

Week 3

Module 3 - Cartography In Module 3, we'll cover the basics of mapping and cartography.

Week 4

Module 4 - Sources of GIS Data In Module 4, we'll explore where GIS-compatible data can be found and how these sources can be accessed.

Week 5

Module 5 - Spatial Query In Module 5, we'll dig deeper into attribute-based queries and learn how to work with location-based queries.

Week 6

Module 6 - Geospatial Analysis

In Module 6, we'll

In Module 7, we'll wrap up the course and discuss the remaining steps necessary to obtain the MU Extension Continuing Education Certificate in Digital Transformation.

Objectives

The following objectives are for this six-week course. Each assessment will have a list of objectives that are in line with the following. Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand the basic structure, functionality, and applicability of GIS.
  • Differentiate among the alternative data models and formats commonly utilized in GIS.
  • Understand and apply basic cartographic principles.
  • Identify sources of GIS-compatible data.
  • Apply attribute-based and location-based queries.
  • Understand the benefits of geospatial analytics to practical planning problems.

Instructor

Dr. Tim Matisziw and Dr. Tim Haithcoat 

Netiquette

For a successful online course experience, clear, thoughtful communication is essential. Discussion forums and course communications are important venues for exchanging ideas and promoting learning. Your instructor and fellow participants wish to foster a safe and inclusive online learning environment. Constructive criticism and questions are encouraged; however, you will be expected to remain professional and courteous in all of your posts. You are encouraged to comment, question or critique an idea, but you are not to attack an individual.

Our differences, some of which are outlined in the University of Missouri's nondiscrimination statement, will add richness to this learning experience. Please consider that sarcasm and humor can be misconstrued in online interactions and generate unintended disruptions. Working as a community of learners, we can build a polite and respectful course atmosphere. As your instructor, I  reserve the right to delete any forum posts or blog entries I deem to be inappropriate for the course.

Diversity

We value the voice of every student in this course. We embrace our diversity as a group—in race, gender, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, religion, language, ability, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic and veteran status, —is an asset, resource and strength that is critical to our learning experience.  As a result, we are committed to designing inclusive lessons and assignments that encourage diverse perspectives to be recognized and respected, while providing you with the opportunity to speak and be heard, explore your own understanding, and engage with one another.

Assessment and Grading

COURSE POINTS BREAKDOWN & FEEDBACK: 

There should be 1000 total points in the class. Grades are based on the total points earned divided by the total possible points available in the course. Assessments and learning tasks are based on instructor material, demonstrations, and lectures. As is always the case with online courses, you must engage with the material in a reasonable amount of time before the due date and time of the assessment for each module.

  • (40%) Micro Activities: Some modules may include micro activities, i.e., worksheets, quizzes, etc.  Micro activities may support the larger module projects. Micro activities are worth 40% of your overall grade.
  • (30%) Projects: Some modules will contain larger assessments, i.e., projects. Module projects are worth 30% of your overall grade.
  • (30%) Exam: This course has one exam. The exam will be an open-resource exam. The exam is worth 30% of your overall grade.

GRADING SCALE: 

Percentile Letter Grade GPA
 98.00% A+ 4.0
93.00 - 97.99% A 4.0
90.00% - 92.99% A- 3.7
87.00% - 89.99% B+ 3.3
83.00% - 86.99% B 3
80.00% - 82.99% B- 2.7
77.00% - 79.99% C+ 2.3
73.00% - 76.99% C 2
70.00% - 72.99% C- 1.7
67.00% - 69.99% D+ 1.3
63.00% - 66.99% D 1
60.00% - 62.99% D- 0.7
0% - 59.99% F 0

LATE WORK: This policy applies to all submissions and assessments unless otherwise noted directly on an assessment page/course announcement. Micro activities and case study reports are due on the specified dates. Late submissions will not be accepted. Makeup assignments will be given only in cases of verified illness or in unusual extenuating circumstances approved beforehand by the instructor/support staff.

Course Completion

Individuals will receive a certificate of completion for completing this course, and those who complete all three courses will receive an MU Extension Continuing Education Certificate in Digital Transformation.

Accommodations

We all learn differently, and we want every student to succeed. If you have a learning need or disability, please contact MU Extension ADA Support as soon as possible so we can provide you with appropriate accommodations.  

Technical Requirements

REQUIRED TEXT: There are no required textbooks for this course. Students will be asked to view several provided online videos, articles, graphics, etc. that support the module activities, lectures, and assessments hosted on Canvas.

REQUIRED HARDWARE: At a minimum, you will need the following hardware to participate in this course:

  • A stable internet connection with a connection speed no less than 10 Mbps.
  • Although not required, a large and/or multi-monitor display configuration may be useful.

REQUIRED SOFTWARE: At a minimum, you will need the following software to participate in this course:

  • A computer with an up-to-date operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac, or Linux) and web browser (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, or Edge) of your choice.
  • A PDF reader of your choice (e.g., Adobe or Microsoft Word).

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENTS, CANVAS INFO, & ONLINE PARTICIPATION: There is a Canvas site dedicated to this class (obviously). This is where grades will be posted, important announcements will be made (pay attention to these), module instructions and assessments are housed, etc. Content and lessons are divided into several modules. Announcements will be posted at the beginning of the week with a summary of what's to come or if there are any time-specific events you should be aware of. Ensure you have notifications turned on for course announcements, or check announcements regularly if doing so manually. It is your responsibility to stay up to date with all course announcements.

See our Getting Started with Canvas page for short tutorial videos to provide an overview of Canvas.  Downloadthe Canvas Student App to access your Canvas course from your mobile device.

For the best user experience, we recommend using  Google Chrome as your browser (Safari for Macintosh). If you don't have Google Chrome installed on your computer, you can download the latest version.

If you have questions or need additional help, please please email Canvas Support. You can find more information on the technical requirements on the Canvas website.