Introduction to Geographical Information Science - Geog2735

Here is my Course Outline from Fall 2015.


When: Tuesdays, Thursdays 10:50 - 12:05

Room: C-756

Instructor: Dr. Stefan Kienzle
Office: Alberta Water & Environmental Science Building: WE-2012
Phone: 403.380.1875
Office Hours: any time, please make an appointment


Class Notes: Moodle: In Folder "Geog2735_Lecture_Material"

Textbook Homepage:

Test Center:



Lab Instructor: Ravinder Virk, Labs (offered in 3 sections), Location: C-757

Section Day Time
2 Wednesday 18:00 - 20:50 (first lab: Sep. 10)
3 Thursday 12:15 - 14:55 (first lab: Sep. 11)
1 Friday 09:00 - 11:50 (first lab: Sep. 12)

Recommended Textbook

Bradley A. Shellito (2012): Introduction to Geospatial Technologies. Bedford Freeman and Worth.

Chang, Kang-tsung: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, McGraw-Hill (5th edition, earlier editions are also OK) This textbook is used in Geog3740 and Geog4740.


Other good GIS textbooks:

Burrough, P.A. and McDonnell. R.A. (1998): Principles of Geographical Information Systems, Oxford University Press
Lo, C.P. and Yeung, K.W. (2002): Concepts and techniques of geographic information systems, Prentice-Hall
Longley, P.A., Goodchild, M.F., Maguire, D.J. and Rhind, D.W. (2001): Geographic information systems and science, John Wiley & Sons

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to techniques and concepts in geographic information science.  Geographical information science is the science that involves all aspects of geographical information including: Earth observation, spatial information systems, spatial analysis, mapping, and global positioning systems. The primary objective of this course is to introduce the student to the acquisition, interpretation, and analysis of geographic data.  Through the use of hands-on laboratory exercises, students will gain valuable interpretive and analytical skills.

This course is divided into three themes:
1. Technical background of geographic information science including: aerial photography, satellite imaging, photographic interpretation, geographic information systems; 
2. Application of GIScience techniques and interpretation skills for resource and environmental analysis, and
3. Integration of geospatial technologies.

Five elementary laboratory exercises provide a basis for practical experience and further study in geographical information science.


Each week has a specific topic which will be covered during the lectures and associated labs (deviations in the order are likely to occur):

Week Topic Labs
Sep. 03 - 05
Sep. 08 - 12
GIS and Aerial Photography
1A - Aerial Photo Interpretation
Sep. 15 - 19
Digitizing and Mapping
1B - GIS change detection
Sep. 22 - 26
Stereo Photo Interp.,
2A - Stereo Aerial Photo Interpretation
Sep. 29 - Oct. 03
Intro. to remote sensing, Rasters
2B - ArcScan, GeoReference
Oct. 06 - 10
Raster analysis 3 - Essay                                   
Oct. 13 - 17
Raster Analysis
3 - Essay
Oct. 20 - 24
Projections 4A - Terrain analysis
Oct. 27 - 31
GeoProcessing 4B - Terrain analysis
Nov. 03 - 07
Referencing, NTS, Applications
5A - Raster analysis
Nov. 10 - 14
Nov. 11 = Holiday, GPS 5B - Raster analysis
Nov. 17 - 21
GIS Applications 6A - Urban GIS: Complex query, written Report
Nov. 24 - 28
6B - Urban GIS: Complex query, written Report
Dec. 01 - 04


Lab Assignments

A main emphasis of this course is hands-on experience, which will make successful students more employable. In the Labs, students are instructed and guided how to work with GIS to solve problems.  Each lab goes over two weeks, and a lab report is required to be handed in. During the labs, students will be able to ask questions, so that they can carry out given tasks independently in the future. Lab reports must be handed in by the due date, otherwise a 10% reduction per day after the due date will be the consequence.

ArcGIS software is available in all student labs on campus; therefore, student can work on assignments or train themselves almost any time.

Use of electronic Devices in Class

Students are NOT allowed to use cell phones, PDAs, iPODs or similar devices in class. If student do use the devices, they will be asked to leave the class, as this strongly disturbs other students. Laptops and iPADs are only allowed if used to take notes - gaming and using social networks are not allowed during class!



Plagiarism is an extremely serious academic offence and carries penalties varying from a written reprimand and failure in an assignment, to debarment from the University. Any student found to have plagiarized or cheated in this course would receive a mark of zero on the work in question, in addition to a written reprimand copied to the Registrar’s Office.

Definitions and policies regarding plagiarism can be found in the University of Lethbridge Calendar.


The grade will consist to 50% of written exams (multiple-choice and short-answer questions) and 50% of lab reports and lab quizzes. Marks will be posted on Moodle. A cumulative percentage mark will be determined using the weighting scheme below and converted to a final letter grade as follows:

Grading Proportions


Percent of 
overall grade

  Lab Reports:
  Lab # 1 =   7%
  Lab # 2 =   6%
  Lab # 3 =   4%
  Lab # 4 =   7%
  Lab # 5 =   7%
  Lab # 6 = 10%


  Lab Quizzes
  (3 quizzes, 3% each)


  Midterm Exam


  Final Exam




Grading Scheme



  90.0 - 100.0


  85.0 -   89.9


  80.0 -  84.9


  76.7 -  79.9


  73.4 -  76.6


  70.0 -  73.3


  66.7 -  69.9


  63.4 -  66.6


  60.0 -  63.3


  55.0 -  59.9


  50.0 -  55.0


    0.0 -  49.9


Other Requirements

You are reminded to ensure that your e-mail account is never full, otherwise you will not be able to receive e-mail.

In order to back up your lab assignments and GIS data, it is recommended that you have a USB Flash Drive.

You will also need to buy some special pens and 10 (ten) transparency acetate sheets for the aerial photography labs.