Many students have experienced the technology of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to create maps with standalone desktop computers. This class extends the use of maps and GIS technology into the world wide web. Students will learn to create, optimize, and disseminate maps and spatial information using a standard web-browser interface and the mapping system of ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com). ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based mapping platform created by Esri, Inc. It is increasingly used to create and publish web-maps and interactive "story maps" that support social awareness, and place spatial data in cultural and social context.
No previous GIS experience is required. This course is compatible with Foundations in Desktop GIS without significant overlap. Either GIS class can be taken independently.
Students will create web-maps from a variety of GIS data sources, and learn to combine and optimize spatial data layers available on the web. Students will publish their own data layers and design "story maps" using available templates and safe data-sharing methods. Students will learn best-practices for optimizing and sharing their maps on the web, with attention to security of data and maps, map performance, and methods for publishing maps and apps on mobile devices and webpages. An exercise in field data collection will teach students how to set up their smartphone to collect field data, by synchronizing their devices instantaneously with their web maps. Students will create "story maps" focused on a climate change challenge, developed over the duration of the course.
A license to ArcGIS Online will be issued to all students (at no charge). Access to exercises will be possible using any computer with reliable internet bandwidth. The ArcGIS Online license will be available to students after the class, to enable further work in research and other needs, for the duration of the student's involvement with TESC.
Registration note: Undergraduate students use CRN 40050, Graduate students use CRN 40051.
No prerequisites. Students should be familiar with web browsers, mainly Chrome and Firefox, and comfortable with office automation apps for spreadsheet management.
Course Reference Numbers
Geographic Information Systems. Online mapping is increasingly used in government policy and dissemination of public information by state, federal, municipal and tribal organizations. Web-mapping skills are often needed for careers in environmental policy and conservation, public health, state information dissemination, and a wide variety of non-profit and non governmental ("NGO") organizations.