GEOG 586
Geographic Information Analysis

Term Project (Week 2) - Writing a Preliminary Project Proposal


Submit a brief project proposal (1 page) to the 'Term Project: Preliminary Proposal' discussion forum. This week, you should start to obtain the data you will need for your project. The proposal must identify at least two (preferably more) likely data sources for the project work, since this will be critical to success in the final project. Over the next few weeks, you will be refining your proposal. Next week you will submit a first revision of your project proposal based on feedback from me and your continued work in developing your project. During week 5, you will receive feedback from other students. This will help you revise a more complete (final) proposal which will be due in Week 6.  For a quick reminder, view Overview of term project and weekly deliverables

This week, you must organize your thinking about the term project by developing your topic/scope from last week into a short proposal.

Your proposal should include:


  • some background on the topic, particularly why it is interesting;
  • research question(s). What specifically do you hope to find out?


  • data: data required to answer the question(s) – list the data sets you think are needed and what role each will play.
  • where you will obtain the data required. This may be public websites or perhaps data that you have access to through work or personal contacts.
    • Obtain and explore the data: attributes, resolutions, scale.
      • Is the data useful or are there limitations?
      • Will you need to clean and organize the data in order to use it?
  • analysis: what you will do with the data, in general terms
    • What sort statistical analysis and spatial analysis, do you intend to carry out? Review Figure 1.2 and skim through the lessons to identify the methods you will be using. If you don't know the technical names for the types of analysis you would like to do, then at least try to describe the types of things you would like to be able to say after finishing the analysis (e.g., one distribution is more clustered than another). This will give me and other students a firmer basis for making constructive suggestions about the options available to you. Also, look through the course topics for ideas.

Expected Results:

  • what sort of maps or outputs you will create.


  • include references to papers you may have cited in the background or methods section.

I realize, at this point, that you may feel that your knowledge is too limited for the last point in particular (Analysis). Skim through the lessons from the course web site where the page you are reading now is hosted using the menu at the right-hand side and visit the syllabus where there is an overview of each lesson and the methods you will be learning.

The proposal does not have to be detailed at this stage. Your proposal should be no longer than about 1 page (max.). Make sure that your proposal covers all the above points, so that I (Lesson 3 & 4) and others (Lesson 5 – peer review) evaluating the proposal can make constructive suggestions about additions, changes, other sources of data, and so on.


Post your preliminary proposal to the 'Term Project: Preliminary Proposal' discussion forum.


Please use the Discussion - General Questions and Technical Help discussion forum to ask any questions now or at any point during this project.