Course Structure: Online, 12-15 hours a week for 10 weeks
Class Size: Limited to 25 students on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Prerequisite(s): 482 and 483 (or equivalent professional experience). It is expected that students are conversant in fundamental concepts of GIS and have hands-on experience with ArcGIS Pro. The following bullets are examples of knowledge and skills you should have before starting this course.
- explain the concept of map scale
- explain the concept of a map projection
- describe the difference between a vector and a raster data set
- explain the difference between an Esri SHP file and a feature class
- explain the difference between a 2D and 3D SHP file or feature class
- manage GIS data files in the Esri interface
- access data management, data conversion, and data analysis tools in the Esri interface
- add a vector data layer to a project file
- add a raster data layer to a project file
- create a new SHP file or feature class
- edit a SHP file or feature class using the Editor toolbar
- change symbols for a SHP file or feature dataset using Symbology Properties
- view and edit the attribute table for a SHP file, feature class, or raster layer
GEOG 480, Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications is an introductory-level course focusing on the use of remotely sensed imagery and elevation data in GIS applications. Students enrolling in GEOG 480 should have a solid conceptual foundation in geospatial information science and technology (equivalent to GEOG 482 and GEOG 483). GEOG 480 is appropriate for those who are already working in the geospatial profession and wish to use imagery and elevation data in visualization and spatial analysis.
The course is specifically designed for adult professionals and is offered exclusively through the World Campus and the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. GEOG 480 is the first required course in the Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation. GEOG 480 also fulfills a remote sensing requirement for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in GEOINT Applications, and can be used as an elective in the Certificate of Geographic Information Systems, Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Geospatial Intelligence option or the Master of Geographic Information Systems. Students who register for the course for credit will complete eight lessons with corresponding hands-on assignments, online discussions, and an independent final project. Throughout the course, students confront realistic problem scenarios that incorporate such skills and concepts as definitions of data needs, metadata content standards, data formats and types, and analysis methods.
Topics of Study
An orientation is conducted during the first official week of class and includes graded assignments. There are eight subject lessons to be completed in sequence. The final project will be developed over the entire ten-week session, with the final week of the course devoted entirely to completing the final project and written report.
- Lesson 0: Orientation (1 week)
- Lesson 1: Introduction (1 week)
- Lesson 2: Sensors, Platforms, and Georeferencing (1 week)
- Lesson 3: Production of Digital Image Base Maps (1 week)
- Lesson 4: Production of Digital Terrain Models (1 week)
- Lesson 5: Validation of Imagery and Elevation Data (1 week)
- Lesson 6: Management of Imagery and Elevation Data (1 week)
- Lesson 7: Image Enhancement, Interpretation, and Analysis (1 week)
- Lesson 8: Terrain Modeling and Analysis (1 week)
- Final Week: Review and Discussion (1 week)
- Describe the basic principles of image and elevation data acquisition.
- Summarize the basic operational characteristics of commercial imaging systems.
- Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of optical imaging instruments and platforms for a broad range of application scenarios.
- Perform orthorectification of digital imagery.
- Perform simple image enhancement, image interpretation, and automated analysis using digital optical imagery.
- Perform simple terrain analysis using digital elevation/terrain models.
- Describe the quantitative methods and industry standards for geometric accuracy assessment of imagery and elevation data products.
- Describe the qualitative methods and industry standards for quality assurance and quality control of imagery and elevation data products.
- Use acquired knowledge and critical thinking skills to create visualizations and perform analysis of imagery, elevation, and supplemental vector data in GIS.
Course Overview Video (1:57)
Want to join us? Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback and earn academic credit. For more information, visit Penn State's Online Geospatial Education Program website. Official course descriptions and curricular details can be reviewed in the University Bulletin.
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