GIS for Transportation: Principles, Data and Applications

Introduction & Learning Outcomes


What will we learn?

By the end of Lesson 1, you should be able to:

  • characterize the relationship between GIS and transportation and explain why GIS-T is such an active field;
  • discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for GIS-T in the 21st century;
  • list some modes of transportation and discuss the meaning and significance of modal competition, modal shift, and containerization;
  • state the mission and describe some of the current initiatives of the U. S. Department of Transportation (USDOT);
  • discuss some emerging technologies in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the objectives and features of traveler information systems.


Lesson 1 will take 1 week to complete. Please refer to Canvas for specific timeframes, submission instructions, and due dates.

To finish this lesson, you must complete the assignments listed below by the end of this lesson week. The details for each assignment are provided in the referenced section.

Lesson 1 Assignments
Assignment No. Assignment Description Section Grade Component / Points
1-1 Read "GIS in the 21st Century" and submit a write-up which addresses some specific questions. 1.1 Lesson Topic / 20
1-2 Learn about the various modes of transportation, and discuss the concepts of modal competition, modal shift, and containerization. 1.1 Lesson Topic / 15
1-3 Review the USDOT website, and examine a few of their current initiatives. 1.2 Transportation Organizations / 15
1-4 Create a 3-5 minute video autobiography. 1.3 Class Participation / 15
1-5 Submit a review of Pennsylvania's 511 Traveler Information System. 1.5 Guest Webinars / 10
1-6 Submit some questions for next week’s speaker: Doug Tomlinson. 1.5 Guest Webinars / 5