GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Overview

Overview

In this course, we will focus attention on the problem of GISystem analysis and design. Our goal will be to survey existing design methods as well as the range of possible design choices so that you can make smart decisions when developing GISystems of your own. By the end of the term, you will have applied what you've learned in the form of a term project focused on the design of a new GISystem.

In the past, GIS designs were monolithic and followed very prescribed design patterns (data plugs in here, a map viewer plugs in here, etc...). Today, the users of GIS tools and their derivatives are very diverse and can include experts and novices alike. Also, there is a very wide range now of "types of GIS" - from the desktop tools that many of us were weaned on, to lightweight web applications that are dynamic and interactive.

Standard ArcGIS Desktop screenshot.
Figure 1.01: Standard ArcGISPro Interface
Image credit: Esri.com
screenshot from shipmap. Shows portion of the world map with little dots sprinkled all over it.
Figure 1.02: A scene from ShipMap.org depicting ship locations, their carbon footprint, and the estimated amount of freight in transit for a single day.
Image credit: ShipMap.org

At the top, the standard ArcGIS Desktop. At the bottom, a scene from ShipMap.org, a project by Kiln and University College of London's Energy Institute. These are very different tools for very different end-user audiences. Having the right know-how to design a GIS will help ensure that you can meet a range of user needs.

In this lesson, you will learn about the fundamentals of system design, how a design process can be conceptualized, and some of the pitfalls associated with missing the mark when it comes to GISystem design. Along the way, you will also learn about a new technology trend and begin thinking about your term project.

Objectives

At the successful completion of Lesson 1, students should be able to:

  • develop a basic understanding of the need for careful Geospatial System Analysis & Design;
  • review a recent technology trend and discuss how it relates to GIS Design;
  • become familiar with the final project assignment for this class;
  • read about Design Principles and relate those ideas to GIS in a discussion with your classmates.

Assignments

Lesson 1 is one week in length. Please refer to Canvas for specific assignment instructions and due dates.

Questions?

If you have questions now or at any point during this week, please feel free to post them in the General Questions Discussion Forum in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses and comments if you are able to help out a classmate.