GEOG 481
Topographic Mapping with Lidar

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills


While we have tried not to specify too many formal prerequisites for our remote sensing courses, there is an assumption that you already have some knowledge of GIS fundamentals and that you can work with ArcGIS at a basic level. In the labs for these courses, it will be expected that you understand or know how to do the following without detailed, step-by-step instructions:

  • 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

You are not expected to be the world's greatest expert in any of these topics, but do be honest in your self-assessment. If you truly know what each of these bullets refer to and could demonstrate that task, you are probably prepared to take this course. If you have no idea what one or more of these bullets are referring to, then one of the prerequisite courses may be a better choice.

Your instructor will be providing guidance for accessing Esri tutorials that cover prerequisite topics and more! You are invited to make use of these supplemental learning materials as needed throughout the semester. You may also want to refer to the online textbook for Geog 482: The Nature of Geographic Information, which is a formal prerequisite for any of the remote sensing courses.


If you have any questions now or at any point during this week, please feel free to post them to the General Questions and Comments Discussion Forum in Canvas.