GEOG 469
Energy Industry Applications of GIS

Lesson 9 - Beginning the Term Project

Screen capture of Photo Science data
Figure 9.1: Project Study Area
Credit: Screen capture of Photo Science data

An Overview of Lesson 9

This lesson will introduce you to the term project and the siting criteria we will use for the project. The project will use what you have learned in the two Esri courses and apply that knowledge to siting a transmission line, using GIS.

Utilities have historically sited transmission lines through a process of selecting transmission line corridors, narrowing the corridors to an optimum corridor, and then selecting the most appropriate route through the corridor for the new transmission line. This process has evolved from a subjective, table-top exercise in the early days of siting, to a more transparent, objective analysis using GIS. The utility industry recognized the need to make the process more efficient and objective because of growing siting difficulties created by increased costs to site and build transmissions lines, increased regulatory oversight, and mounting opposition from the people and communities these new lines would pass by or through.

What will we learn in Lesson 9?

Your goal in this lesson is to begin the process of putting all of the new knowledge you have gained through this course into use to do one final project where you will use that knowledge to site a transmission line using GIS.The final outcome for this lesson will be your best-selected route for the proposed transmission line.

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • apply what you have learned in the two Esri courses to a real-life siting scenario;
  • describe how the EPRI-GTC process categorizes evaluation criteria into three general categories: Natural, Built, and Engineering Environments;
  • explain the criteria used in each of the general categories;
  • explain how the phase of the project changes the need for more detailed information;
  • apply the EPRI-GTC Siting Methodology; and
  • explain the complexity of selecting a most appropriate route.

What is due for Lesson 9?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Calendar for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found in this lesson.

  • Term Project Background Document. The first part of the assignment should take you between 1.5 and 4 hours to complete and should be done in one sitting. Please plan your time accordingly. The second portion will require 1-3 hours of writing.


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.