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In addition to providing single- and multi-day (non-credit) geospatial short courses and workshops, Iowa State University Department of Community and Regional Planning (CRP) offers a 3-credit Introduction to GIS course online during the summer semester. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (CRP 451/551) is taught exclusively online as a distance education course using Blackboard and other online learning tools. The course runs May 20th - August 9. The course will be taught by Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Christopher J. Seeger, GISP firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students learn essential GIS tasks including creating maps from existing data, creating new data, producing map layouts, querying data, and conducting basic geoprocessing skills. The course can be taken as a undergraduate (451) or graduate course (551). The difference between the two courses is that graduate students conduct GIS analysis on a final project that they develop and undergraduate studnets are assigned a final project. Both groups present the project online to the class as a Power Point presentation and PDF poster at the end of the course. Students taking the 551 course can apply the class toward the ISU Graduate Certificate in GIS and 451 students can use the course toward the Digital Media Minor.
While the course is very intensive, it is designed to allow students to schedule their study time around their work, family or other summer activities. Students do not need to be in Ames to take the class. However, they do need to have a good Internet connection as the course utilizes video tutorials and lectures as well as online collaboration, peer learning techniques and virtual office hours with the instructor. Students enrolled in the course will receive a educational copy of the ESRI ArcGIS 10.1 software to install on their computer prior to the start of the course in May.
|Platform:||PC-Intel (Macs with fast Intel Processors are OK)|
|Operating System:||Windows 7 (Vista supported but not recommended)|
|Memory:||2 GB RAM minimum|
|Processor:||2.2 GHz minimum ; Hyper-threading (HHT) or Multi-core recommended|
Additional details for hardware can be found here. Scroll down to Hardware Requirements. Note these are minimums and the software will not run unless you meet this!
The primary book for the course is the following tutorial. I intend for us to use the 10.1 version of the book which is scheduled to be released May 3, 2013. I will continue to monitor its availability.
GIS Tutorial 1: Basic Workbook, 10.1 Edition [Paperback] (Amazon)
by Wilpen L. Gorr and Kristen S. Kurland
(Both optional textbooks are very useful for CRP 551 if you run across good used copies)
Designing Better Maps: a Guide for GIS Users
By Cynthia A. Brewer
What is the cost for the course?
In addition to the standard University tuition cost, (see Distance Education Fee Information) there is an online course delivery fee of $100.
Do I have to be an ISU Student to take this course?
No, you can register as a non-degree student.
How do I register?
If you are currently an ISU student you can register the same way as you would for any other semester. If you are a non-degree seeking student you can find the US non degree paperwork at admissions.
I plan to go on vacation for a week - will I be able to miss the course for this amount of time?
The short answers is yes. The course is designed to allow you to work ahead 1 week. With that said, it is best to try and stay on track as the discussions and help sessions will focus on the topic of the week. The last week of July is reserved for work on the final projects. CRP 551 students will be submitting their projects online during this time so you will need to participate and review their presentations during this period.
I will miss the first 2 days, will that be a problem?
It should be fine, however you will want to get caught up ASAP as things move fast in this course and once you are more than a week behind, it is very difficult to catch up unless you plan to take time off of work or spend some late nights doing GIS!
When will the course be available?
Monday, May 20th. I will email all who are registered for class the Friday before.
Do you have recommendations for doing well in the class?
Try and stay on schedule with your classmates so that you can benefit from the discussions. Typically I see three groups, a few that are working a week ahead, the majority that runs about one exercise (2 - 3 days) behind and then a few stragglers. If you watch NASCAR then you now that if you fall out of the draft it is hard to catch up - same holds true here.
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