Using GIS (Spatial Analysis and Mapping) in Public Service

Fall 2014 quarter

Taught by

Making maps and analyzing spatial data is useful in all phases of public service, from policy development to program implementation and evaluation. For instance, the Office of Financial Management recently produced maps to show regional differentials in firearm death rates in Washington State; other examples abound.  In this course, students will be introduced to the suite of skills necessary to create useful maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Students will also learn how to find government demographic data sources and use them in thematic maps and other analytical products.  The course will be taught workshop style, with students creating their own maps while following along with the instructor.  We will briefly cover “Free and Open Source” (FOSS) alternatives to proprietary GIS systems. An important component of the course will be discussions of the students’ and instructor’s use of GIS at work.  The instructor received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Demography and works at Washington State Office of Financial Management, where he uses US Federal Census data and GIS daily.

Program Details

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule: Oct 24-26, 5-9p Fri, 9a-5p Sat/Sun


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Registration Information

Credits: 2 (Fall)

Class standing: Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 20


Course Reference Number

(2 GR credits): 10272

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