GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Reading Assignment


How Reading Assignments Work

For each lesson, I will ask you to read parts of online materials I select or articles I place in our e-Reserves. As you can see below, I'll try to make it as clear as possible what you're expected to do by always identifying specific reading assignments in boxes. Also, part of your class participation grade will be making responses on our discussion board to questions I pose about the readings. Whenever you see a "respond" prompt, you need to respond to that question as directed. Occasionally, I'll mark items "think about" when I simply want to direct your thoughts as you read.

Lesson 1 Reading Assignment

For our first set of readings, we will focus on setting the stage for the rest of the Lessons. First, I'd like you to read a short paper on a basic design task - something simple that turns out to be quite intricate.

Second, I've selected some chapters from Roger Tomlinson's popular book on designing a GIS. This work provides some grounding for the higher-level design concepts in terms of what they specifically mean for GIS.


"Design as Practiced" by Donald Norman:

Think About

This short article by Donald Norman (one of the world's most respected design thinkers) describes the design process associated with a really simple thing - a computer power switch. It's clear from this article how even a very simple problem focus can prove to be a vexing design challenge. While you're reading, I'd like you to consider just how much more complexity is involved when it comes to applying Norman's lessons learned to dealing with GIS design challenges.


Chapters 1 & 2 (p. 1-10) of "Thinking About GIS: Geographic Information System Planning for Managers" by Roger F. Tomlinson.


Tomlinson's book on GIS system planning outlines a popular design approach specifically intended for the special requirements associated with GIS systems. In this reading assignment, I want you to take note of the design process Tomlinson suggests, compare it to the more generic approach I outlined earlier in this lesson, and discuss here with your fellow students what resonates with you, what seems out of date, what you would add to either/both design processes, etc... To get credit for this assignment, you must post at least one original comment and respond to at least one comment by your fellow students. I encourage you to include links to other content that bolsters your argument.

Joining the Discussion

The Lesson 1 Reading Discussion can be accessed by clicking on Modules in our GEOG 583 space in Canvas. To post a comment, click "Reply" under the discussion prompt and begin typing in the text box, or you can choose to reply to an existing thread. When you are finished typing, click on the "Post Reply" button.