GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Term Project - Abstract Assignment


In Lesson 1, you were introduced to the term project assignment for this class.

This week, you need to choose one of the project options and decide what your term project will cover. To save you from looking back at Lesson 1, I've listed the project options here as well.

Here are the four options you have for your term project. You should choose one of these options. If you have another project idea in mind, please contact me so we can talk it over - your option may be a great fit for this project as well:

  • OPTION 1: Create a system design proposal that incorporates the use of mobile devices to access and update geospatial data from the field in real time. In your proposal, you should describe relevant prior work, a design plan that describes how you will gather requirements and iterate through prototypes, and the expected benefits from adopting your plan. You may choose any application context you like (emergency response, zoning/code enforcement, etc...)
  • OPTION 2: Audit the GIS system you use at work. Assume you have access to funding to make significant changes to this system. Identify key leverage points for making changes to the system that will maximize the impact that the new system will have. Present your work in the form of a strategic plan that begins with a description of the existing system. The plan should then cover the goals of the improved system and present a set of possible changes to the system that have been prioritized so that decision makers could make decisions about funding allocations accordingly. Make sure your plan integrates common design, implementation, and evaluation methods.
  • OPTION 3: Ultimately, there are lots of people involved in the success of a GIS system. There may be technical experts who are in charge of database development, cartographers in charge of developing visuals for situational awareness, decision makers who have to weigh all of the information and act expediently, and members of the media & public who consume and disseminate information. Propose a design study for a specific GIS application context (forest management, city planning, etc…) that focuses on identifying the GIS-related needs of these different types of people. Consider the range of possible system design strategies when creating your proposal.
  • OPTION 4: Web browsers (like Firefox and Internet Explorer) have become one of the primary conduits for information, including spatial information, for most people in industrialized countries. Plan how an existing GIS should start to allow access via browsers. Aspects that will need to be considered are: the architecture (local servers vs "in the cloud"), the type of web maps presented to users (for example, Esri's Flex client, Google Maps, or OpenLayers), the degree of coupling with existing systems, who will be responsible for what tasks, upfront and ongoing costs, and security, among other issues. Focus on tradeoffs such as containing risk while enabling users. You can either use your current GIS architecture (if you have one) or invent a scenario such as providing temporary GIS services for a political campaign on a fixed budget.

Term Project - Abstract Submission Instructions

  • Title your project something informative yet concise.
  • Provide a single, concise paragraph indicating which project option you choose, the topics you will cover, and the expected contributions of your work.
  • Your abstract should be no longer than 250 words.
  • This assignment is worth 15 points, or 5% of your grade.
  • Submit your abstract to the "Lesson 2 Term Project: Abstract" dropbox I've created for it in Canvas.
  • Save your files in the following format: L2_tp_firstinitialLastName.doc (or other MS Word compatible format). For example, if my name was Waldo Tobler, my file would be named "L2_tp_wtobler.doc" - This naming convention is important, as it will help me make sure I match each submission up with the right student.

See our Canvas Course Calendar for specific due dates.

Abstract Grading Criteria

For this assignment, I will assign grades with the following rubric. For each of the three main criteria, I will assign points on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being very poor.

I define "Impact" as the strength and logic of the arguments and analytical insights you provide with your writing. In other words, present a clear argument to the reader as to why your topic/idea/approach is important.

I define "Content" as the level of understanding and knowledge of relevant topics you demonstrate with your writing. Here, demonstrate to the reader that you are knowledgeable about the topic/idea/approach by communicating what you are planning to do and how you will do it.

I define "Clarity" as the readability and organization of your writing (including formatting and appropriate graphic design where applicable). Your writing should be clear, concise, and unambiguous. By all means, proofread your writing so as to avoid errors. As a suggestion, ask someone else to read your writing.

Term Project Rubric
Criteria Excellent Very Good Satisfactory Poor Very Poor
Impact 5 4 3 2 1
Content 5 4 3 2 1
Clarity 5 4 3 2 1