Course Outlines - Course Details
Diablo Valley College Course
GEOG-124: Thinking and Communicating Geospatially 
This course is a survey of geographic information technologies including GIS (Geographic Information Systems), GPS (Global Positioning System), RS (Remote Sensing), maps and cartography, mobile and online mapping and an overview of how these technologies are utilized by various agencies, industries, and disciplines for resource management, problem solving, and decision making. 
General Information
Department: Physical Science/Physics/Astronomy/Geology/Geography 
Division: Physical Science and Engineering 
Units: 3.00 
Grade Code: Student choice 
Repeatability: 0 
Max day class size: 42 
Max night class size: 42 
Number of Hours
Per Semester
Lecture: 54.00
Laboratory: 0.00
Activity: 0.00
By Arrangement
Lecture: 0.00
Laboratory: 0.00
Activity: 0.00
Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  1. Explain the fundamentals of different geospatial technologies.
  2. Describe how geospatial technologies are applied to resource management, decision making, and problem-solving in one or more disciplines.
  3. Recognize the elements of spatial location.
  4. Distinguish between aerial photographs and satellite imagery.
  5. Use web-based resources to discover and compile geospatial information.
  6. Distinguish different data formats such as raster/vector, DEM (Digital Elevation Model)/DTM (Digital Terrain Model), LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) and their applications.
  7. List the elements of cartographic principles and map design.
  8. Summarize the different applications of mobile mapping.
  9. Interpret an aerial photograph.
  10. . Demonstrate the ability to locate open source versions of geospatial resources and tools for data display and analysis.
  1. Introduction to geospatial technologies
  1. Components
  2. History and evolution
  3. Mobile technology
  4. Web-resources
    1. Elements of spatial referencing
  5. Types of location and scale
  6. Datum and coordinate system
  7. Map projection
    1. GPS fundamentals
  8. Components and principles
  9. Accuracy versus error
  10. Applications of GPS
    1. Remote sensing fundamentals
  11. Types of sensors, principles, and resolutions
  12. Types of remotely sensed data
  13. Fundamentals of aerial photo interpretation
  14. Fundamentals of imagery interpretation
  15. Applications of remote sensing
    1. GIS fundamentals
  16. Components and functions of GIS
  17. Raster and vector GIS
  18. Methods of spatial analysis
  19. Applications of GIS
    1. Representation of spatial information
  20. Elements of cartographic design
  21. Digital representation
  22. Web-GIS
    1. Geospatial technology training and profession
  23. Current trends and future directions
  24. Professional opportunities
  25. Academic and training opportunities
Lecture, Demonstration, Discussion, Distance Education 
Reading 1: Read the chapter on geographic coordinates. Be prepared to discuss the concepts of datum and geographic coordinates. 
Reading 2: Read the chapter on GIS data format. Pay attention to the elements of raster and vector formats. What types of data are represented in raster? 
Writing, problem solving, performance 1: List any three differences between UTM and State Plane Coordinate System. What are the UTM and State Plane zones of your county? 
Writing, problem solving, performance 2: List the elements of visual image interpretation. Copy the .jpg image from the assignment folder. Using the elements of image interpretation find the most prominent feature. What kind of topography is represented by this image? 
Lab, field activity, product or report: Examine the National Map viewer and write a brief report to address the following questions: What is the purpose of this viewer? What kind of information is provided by this viewer? Can you download information? If so, in what format? How would you like to use this viewer? 
Sample One: List the principal geospatial technologies. Highlight the similarities and differences among them. 

Sample Two:

List the elements of a map. Critique the given map. Highlight the strengths and weaknesses of its design. Is there room for improvement? Explain.



List any two websites that allow you to download the Census 2010 data. In what format is the data available?


Frequency of Evaluation:

Evaluations will adhere to the DVC "Fairness in Grading" guidelines and will include as a minimum:

  • Evaluation of students within the first quarter of the course and notifying student of the results

  • Counting a final examination for no more than one-half the course grade

  • Basing final grades on at least three students' tests and/or reports


Sample Textbook. See the current course syllabus or for the actual course textbook.
Book One
Author: Shellito, Bradley A. 
Title: Introduction to Geospatial Technologies 
Year: 2012 
Book Two
Author: Thurston, Jeff, Thomas K. Poiker, and Patrick J. Moore 
Title: Integrated Geospatial Technologies: A Guide to GPS, GIS, and Data Logging 
Year: 2011 
Approval Date
On File 
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