GEOG 588
Planning GIS for Emergency Management

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 four options you have for your term project. You can choose one of these options. If you'd like to riff on one of these and take it in a different direction, by all means, do so! These are really just suggestions - I want you to be innovative and surprise me with your good ideas for projects. I also know that many of you just want to know what would be a good example project focus, which is why I've listed these options here.

  • OPTION 1: Propose a new GIS system that uses geospatially-capable mobile devices for early responders in crisis situations. Assume that the early responders in question have very little time to train with these devices before having to use them in an emergency situation. Identify the key tasks that the devices must support, and consider that emergency responders must focus most of their attention on addressing the emergency – not on working with a mobile device. Present your work in the form of a system design proposal that outlines the goals of the system and describes how it would be designed and implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • OPTION 2: Audit the GIS system you use for emergency management in your workplace. 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 on handling emergency management problems. 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.
  • OPTION 3: Research a recent disaster and describe how different types of GIS systems were used to respond to the situation and mitigate its impact. Then propose a general design for a new GIS system based on what was learned from the disaster (assume you will receive substantial, but not unlimited funding). Consider recent technological and social trends in GIS and emergency management that you could leverage with the new system (e.g., mobile devices, non-expert systems, map mashups, etc…) and incorporate those trends into a system design proposal that includes a section up front describing the lessons learned from the disaster you researched.
  • OPTION 4: Ultimately, there are lots of people involved in the success of a GIS system. There are technical experts who may be 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 emergency management context (forest fires, hurricanes, 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.

Term Project - Abstract Description

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.

Term Project - Abstract Submission Instructions

When you're finished with this assignment, submit your outline to the dropbox I've created for it in Canvas.

Save your files in the following format:

L2_tp_firstinitialLastName.doc (or .jpg or .pdf or .tiff).

For example, my file would be named "L2_tp_rmbeaty.doc" - This naming convention is important, as it will help me make sure I match each submission up with the right student.

Submit your assignment to the "Term Project: Abstract" dropbox in Canvas. See our Canvas Course Calendar for specific due dates.

Term Project - 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. I define "Content" as the level of understanding and knowledge of relevant topics you demonstrate with your writing. I define "Clarity" as the readability and organization of your writing (including formatting and appropriate graphic design where applicable).

Impact, Content, Clarity: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Satisfactory, 2 = Poor, 1 = Very Poor