SO432 Course Objectives--Fall 2008 (8/19/2008)

Intro, Lo & Yeung chap 1
  • Definition of GIS
  • Parts of a GIS
Maps & GIS, Lo & Yeung chap 2
  • Map scale
  • Map projections
  • Ellipsoid
  • Datums
  • UTM projection
  • GPS
  1. Discuss why a globe cannot serve as a useful map.
  2. Define the following terms: large scale and small scale, representative fraction.
  3. Discuss the things users might want in a projection: equal-area, conformality, equidistant, azimuthal, and geometry of rhumb lines, small or great circles.
  4. Discuss the three surfaces used to develop geometric projections.
  5. Discuss the Tissot indicatrix to show the distortion on a map.
  6. Differentiate the forward and inverse projection equations.
  7. Discuss the measurements used to define an ellipsoid: a, b, f, and eČ.
  8. Discuss the historical and other reasons why different datums have been used.
  9. Discuss the difference between a local datum like NAD27 and an earth centered datum like WGS84.
  10. Discuss how ellipsoids and datums are defined.
Digital Representation Geography, Lo & Yeung chap 3

read section: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7, 3.8

skip: 3.6

  • Databases
  • Vector vs raster
  1. Understand the following computer terms and how they apply to mapping: bit, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, vector, raster, binary, ASCII, dpi, compression (lossy and lossless).
  2. Understand that the requirements for spatial relationships make GIS databases a special case for computer handling.
  3. Differentiate the different kinds of map data: vector, raster, grid, and text.
  4. Understand how feature codes and coding work.
  5. Understand how topology complicates GIS storage compared to spaghetti lines, but what it offers in return.
  6. Understand the geometries needed for vector map data: points, lines, and areas.
  7. Discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of vector versus raster data.
  8. Discuss how DBMS works at the conceptual, logical, and physical levels.
  9. Understand the construction of a database, especially a relational database, with fields/attributes, tuples/records, and relations/tables


Data Quality & Standards, Lo & Yeung chap 4

skip: 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.5, 4.6.3, 4.6.4, 4.6.5, 4.6.6

  • Accuracy, Precision, Error
  • Standards & interoperability
  1. Differentiate accuracy, precision, error, and uncertainty.
  2. Discuss the dimensions of geographic data quality.
  3. Discuss how to compute RMSE for positional accuracy.
  4. Describe why data standards are beneficial
  5. Key terms: metadata
Raster GIS, Lo& Yeung chap 5
  • Raster map operations.
  1. Discuss the advantages of raster data.
  2. Discuss raster operations in terms of input, analysis, and output.
  3. Discuss the importance of registering (georeferencing) raster data, including rectification and resampling.
  4. Differentiate local, neighborhood, and regional operations.
  5. Understand how color works in computer displays.
  6. Understand map algebra and cartographic modeling.
Vertical datums

EM 1110-2-1003
Engineering and Design - Hydrographic Surveying, sections 5-4, 5-5, 5-7, 5-8, 5-9

  1. Differentiate the three measures of vertical elevation (ellipsoid/geodetic height, orthometric height, and geoid height)
  2. Understand the problems in measuring sea level, and the terms used: MSL, MLW, MLLW, MHW, MHHW
  3. Understand the difference between a vertical datum like NGVD 1929 or NAVD 88 and any of the measures of sea level.
  4. Discuss the need for tidal epochs on the 19 year Metonic cycle.
GPS Surveying

em_1110_1_1003 (Chap 2,3,4)

Entire manual, and just 3 chapters are on line


  1. Understand the components of the GPS system (space, ground, and user).
  2. Key terms: ephemeris, SPS, PPS, P-code, C/A code, S/A
  3. Discuss the use of 2 frequencies and 2 codes to get position data.
  4. Understand why we need three satellites to get 2D coordinates, and four satellites for 3D.
Vector GIS, Lo& Yeung chap 6
  • Vector map operations
  1. Discuss vector operations in terms of input, analysis, and output.
  2. Describe how to digitize data, and the importance of registration.
  3. Differentiate topological and non-topological analysis with vector GIS.
  4. Discuss the reasons for including topology in vector data sets, and the additional challenges they present.
Visualization, Lo& Yeung chap 7  
  1. Discuss the advances that GIS brings to cartography.
  2. Discuss why human factors are so important to GIS visualization (WYSIWYG, WIMP, GUI).
  3. Discuss the techniques for visualizing geographic information.
  4. Discuss cartographic design for GIS and generalization.
  5. Discuss how hardware constrains visualization.
Remote Sensing, Lo& Yeung chap 8  
  1. Describe the uses of imagery, both satellite and aerial photography, in mapping and charting.
  2. Discuss the tradeoffs in image resolution (spatial, spectral, radiometric, and temporal), and how the S/N ratio affects the choices in this tradeoff.
  3. Understand the importance of georegistered/geocoded imagery for mapping
  4. Discuss the geometry of views from space, both in terms of require rectification and the possibility of obtaining stereo views.
  5. Discuss how we can use image statistics for image classification, and how that helps GIS analysis.
Digital Terrain Modeling, Lo& Yeung chap 9  
  1. Differentiate DEMs and TINs, and the relative advantages of each.
  2. Discuss how DEMs can be created, including SRTM and LIDAR..
  3. Discuss the range of DEMs available, from global data like ETOPO5 down to point-like 1 m LIDAR data.
  4. Discuss the uses of DEMs in GIS.
Spatial Analysis, Lo & Yeung chap 10  
  1. Discuss why spatial autocorrelation is important in GIS and the earth sciences.
  2. Discuss the uses and procedures for network analysis.
Project Management, Lo& Yeung chap 11  
  1. Describe the three phases of software engineering (problem definition, development, maintenance) and how they apply to GIS.
  2. Understand the importance of the user in designing a GIS project.
  3. Describe the entity-relationship model for data modeling, and the importance to attributes.
  4. Understand how layers and coverages, and geometry (point-line-areas) affect GIS project design.
Issues and Prospects, Lo& Yeung chap 12  
  1. Discuss how the web and data portals have affected GIS.
  2. Discuss how data quality issues (finding, evaluating, converting) rely on metadata to document projections, datums, and formats.
  3. Describe the difference between GIS training and education.
  4. Discuss the attraction of OpenGIS and interoperability.
  1. Know the components of an ECDIS system (hardware, software, ENC data in S57 format converted into SENC), and the precise legal requirements, including provisions for updating the chart data.
  2.  Understand the differences in mapping requirements between a national hydrographic office and military chart makers
  3. Know that DNC is in VPF and DIGEST (NATO) format, and not S57.
NGA data  
  1. Know why all NGA digital data uses lat/long coordinates and WGS84.
  2. Understand that NGA produces different classes of maps and charts, and that the projections and grids used vary in a systematic fashion.
  3. Know what the following digital data sets are: CIB, CADRG, ADRG, and DTED.
  4. Discuss the types of nautical charts: sailing, coastal, approach, and harbor, in terms of their purpose and what they depict.
  5. Explain why NGA compress imagery and scanned maps.
  6. Differentiate the VPF and RPF.