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GGP 355 Advanced GIS


SP 2013 HO


Fox, David P.


Assistant Professor of Geography


(PhD candidate [ABD] Geography, University of Kansas)
MA Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2001
BA Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1993

Office Location

Parkville Campus: Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC), Room 004

Office Hours

M/W 12:00-1:30, T/R 9:00-11:30, or by appointment

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

January 14 - May 10, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 - 12:50 PM


GGP350 or permission of the instructor

Credit Hours



Two (2) Textbooks Required:

Allen, David W. GIS Tutorial 2: Spatial Analysis Workbook (2nd Edition). ESRI Press/Ingram, 2011. 
ISBN: 9781589482586  

Price, Maribeth. Mastering ArcGIS (5th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
ISBN: 9780077462956.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

ESRI Press has published several books focused on the more specific applications of their ArcGIS software in a variety of different industries/fields, such as marketing, environmental management, health organizations, land records, marine studies, urban environments, and more.  Students are encouraged to explore the ESRI Press website for a full listing ( or browse online book sellers, such as, for these types of publications.  Students may find it very helpful to obtain one of these books that is related to the topic they choose for the GIS Project for this course.   
In addition, you are encouraged to investigate ESRI's virtual classroom ( for any online training/courses they may offer that could be of value in completing the project for this course.  Many of these courses are free and can be completed in a short period of time (e.g., 2-3 hours). 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
GGP355: This course is an advanced course that will have the student learner performing theoretical, conceptual, and practical aspects of the collection, storage, analysis, and display of spatial data. Emphasis will be placed on the applications of geographic information systems. Laboratory projects involving student use of computers will be required. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Because of the applied, "hands-on" nature of this course, the majority of class time will most likely consist of you actually working on the exercises (i.e., "doing GIS") that are given the course textbooks, rather than having lectures.  Generally speaking, the Tuesday class session of each week will consist of a quick review of the GIS concepts in the material being covered in that week's lab assignments and any instruction needed for completing the assignments, and the Thursday class session will be used for discussion of common problems or questions that students may be having with the assigned exercises for the week.  Be aware that you will need to spend additional time outside of the scheduled class sessions in the GIS Lab room in order to be able to complete the assigned work.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Collect and construct maps using GIS software
  2. Critically evaluate and interpret a GIS applications
  3. Analyze data sets for validity
  4. Propose a variety of uses for GIS and how it can be applied to analyze the regional and global community.

Class Assessment:
Lab Assignments: During the first 8 weeks of the course, you will be expected to review and expand upon the basics of GIS learned in GGP350 and to demonstrate your ability to use ArcGIS software by completing a series of 8 lab assignments.  These assignments will primarily consist of completing assigned exercises from the GIS Tutorial 2: Spatial Analysis Workbook, as well as Mastering ArcGIS.  Unless otherwise announced in class, lab assignments will be due by Sunday at midnight (12:00 CST) at the end of the week as listed on the course schedule provided in the eCompanion website.

Exams: Two (2) exams covering the major theoretical and conceptual material discussed in the course will be given during the first half of the course.  Exams will be completed using the course eCompanion website.

GIS Project (Core Assessment): The main goal of this course is for you to be able to demonstrate the ability to use and apply GIS software and spatial data to appropriately to investigate a topic/problem in a field in which you are interested.  The project includes the submission of a GIS project proposal BEFORE Spring Break (i.e., before the end of week 8), creation of a poster displaying the results of your research project, and making a presentation of your project poster to the class.  A complete description of the project requirements and a grading rubric will be provided in the course eCompanion website. (NOTE: You may earn 10% "extra credit" for the project by also presenting your project in the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium, April 8-11, or a local/state academic meeting--such as the Missouri Academy of Science on April 19.)


Assignments (8 @ 5% each) 40%
Exams (2 @ 15% each) 30% 
GIS Project (Core Assessment) 30%

Final grades will be based on the following scale:
A = 100-90%
B = 89-80%
C = 79-70%
D = 69-60%
F = 59-0%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assessments (assignments, exams, etc.) for the lecture session are expected to be fully completed and submitted by the announced due date and time.  Any work completed and/or submitted after the announced deadline may not be accepted for grading.  The instructor reserves the right to determine whether or not late work will be accepted and how much of a grade reduction penalty is appropriate depending upon the rationale for the student's lateness and whether or not he/she appropriately notified the instructor in advance of the deadline (or as soon as reasonably possible in the event of an emergency/unforeseen circumstance) with any appropriate documentation that may be requested by the instructor for verification purposes.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

The following rules of conduct always apply:

1) Follow the GIS Lab Room rules as posted.

2) Demonstrate respect for yourself, your classmates, and your instructor at all times--even if you do not agree with their ideas or opinions.
3) Contribute to an atmosphere conducive to learning by eliminating distractions, especially from electronic devices (laptops, cell phones, iPods, etc.--i.e., turn them OFF!) or off-topic conversations with others.

4) Attend class, participate in discussions and activities, and encourage others to do so as well.

5) Arrive on time for class and do not leave early unless you have notified the instructor; also, notify the instructor promptly if you intend to make a request for an excused absence.
6) Communicate early and often with the instructor about any questions, concerns, or problems related to the course.

7) Keep your sense of humor.

8) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, plagiarize.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The course schedule will be posted in the course eCompanion website.  Key deadlines include:

Week 4 - Exam #1

Week 6 - Draft proposal for GIS Project due

Week 8 - Exam #2

Week 17 (Finals) - GIS Project poster presentations, Thursday, May 9, 10:15-12:15

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:1/15/2013 11:36:13 AM