GIS involves a mixture of education and training:

This course, taught regularly at USNA as SO432, uses the MICRODEM program (what do you expect for something integrated in the program's help file?), which is free and reasonably powerful.  If you really understand what you are trying to do and the concepts behind it, you should be able to find directions for other  programs to perform the tasks you want.  Google can usually find any number of directions from college GIS courses--simply enter the name of the GIS program and a few words describing what you want to do.  It helps to know the correct GIS terminology.  The same thing works with Matlab programming (and probably other programs)--Google can be as easy to use as the program help files, and leads to directions from instructors with great experience in student problem areas.

The lab directions will not be complete step by step directions, particularly in the later labs.  You must learn to think like a GIS program, so that you solve the next problem you will encounter, which will be different, but will involve the same building blocks.

Coverage.  You should read every page in this column.  Each of the pages will have links, which you can follow but which will not be directly testable, unless they also appear in this column. Labs  Key concepts

Introduction and overview of GIS

Lab 1: Introduction to GIS and Mapping
Basics of computer mapping Lab 2: Projections and Horizontal Datums
  • Conformal maps
  • Projected versus geographic coordinates
  • Lat/long coordinates
  • NAD27, NAD83, WGS84
  • Grids and graticules
  • UTM and MGRS coordinates
  • Tissot indicatrix
  • Mercator projection
  • Conical projections


Types of digital data

Lab 3: Maps of your home county

Vector GIS basics

Lab 5: Vector GIS--joins and computations

Map algebra
Lab 6: Raster GIS, map algebra
Database design and creation Lab 8: Vector GIS--create a database
GIS and remote sensing Vertical datums and Landsat  

Redistricting and gerrymandering
Fire base camp  
Sensor Coverage  

GIS and the internet

Lab 9:  Web services

Final project

Your final deliverable will be a paper and map layer, combined into one KMZ file
Labs below will not be done, but cover some other interesting topics    
Lab 9--How Long is the Path Atop the Cliff?  
Digitizing Lab 7: Vector GIS--registration and digitizing



Remote sensing quick start


Last revision 4/19/2017