Course:  CS-150-1 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Semester: Spring 2013

Time and day 9:25-10:40 A.M.  TR

Number of credit hours 3

Location SC-10L


Instructor  Gene Marksbury 

E-mail marksburyg@moval.edu

Office phone  x4620 

Office location SC-12

Office hours see Web site



The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS). The course includes both information and conceptual knowledge that underlie GIS and step-by-step tutorials for using the ArcGIS Desktop GISÔ package provided by the leading GIS vendor, the Environmental Studies and Research Institute (ESRI). GIS provides an extension to information systems that attaches graphic features from the surface of the world—maps—to database records. The resulting system has unique capabilities for information retrieval, display, and analysis based on both data attributes in tabular form and arrangement and location of graphic features. Students will learn geographic and projected coordinate systems, vector-based and raster map layers, map navigation in a GIS, attribute and spatial query methods, map design principles, sources of free map layers on the Internet, data preparation and cleaning for use, extraction or compilation of map layers to build study regions.



Students will have an opportunity to apply their knowledge through short answer questions on conceptual materials and hands-on practice exercises using ArcGIS included with step-by-step tutorials and end-of-chapter hands-on exercises using ArcGIS that require independent thinking.



At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

1.    Utilize the commands and functions necessary to enter data into and retrieve information from a Geographic Information System.

2.    Create, save and edit maps.

3.    Utilize the program help features and the manuals to learn new features of the programs.

4.    Set up and use a GIS and database and then utilize them for calculations.

5.    Demonstrate an understanding of storage operations for those sytems..





Getting to Know ArcGis, Ormsby, Napoleon, Burke, Grossel, and Bowden, ESRI Press (20120)

ISBN 978-1-58948-260-9



·         40% of the grade is based on a mid-term and final examination. Both examinations are cumulative and given in a multiple-choice, true/false, and completion format. An in-class review will be held prior to each examination.

·         30% of the grade is based on completing the end-of-chapter short answer and hands-on exercises.

·         30% of the grade is based on the class project.



Readings, Project Due Dates, and Exam Dates


Chapter Readings




Week 1:

·  Basic Concepts

Section 1






Week Two:

·  Getting Started with maps and data


Section 2



Chapter 3



Week Three:

·  Getting Started with maps and data


Section 2




Chapter 4




Week Four:

·  Displaying Data



Section 3



Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7


Week Five:

·  Getting Information about features


Section 4


Chapter 8

Chapter 9


Week Six:

·  Analyzing feature relationships


Section 5



Chapter 10

Chapter 11


Week Seven:

·  Analyzing feature relationships (cont.)

·  In-class exam




Chapter 12

Chapter 13


Week Eight:

·  Creating and editing data


Section 6






Chapter 14

Chapter 15



Week Nine:

·  Creating and editing data(cont.)


Section 6


Chapter 16

Chapter 17




Week Ten:

·  Presenting data


Section 7




Chapter 18

Chapter 19


Week Eleven:

·  Advanced topic

·  Any of the free ESRI Virtual Campus tutorials from http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=catalog.gateway

Special Topics




Week Twelve:





Week Thirteen:




Final project due

Week Fourteen:

Project  Presenta-tions




Week Fifteen:





Final Exam

·  TBA




Final Exam




10:00 A.M.. Wednesday May 1, 2013  No Exceptions!



No cell phones or other electronic devices that may interfere with the class.



It shall be the responsibility of every student enrolled at Missouri Valley College to support the academic integrity of the institution.  This applies to personal honesty in all aspects of collegiate work, all student records, and all contacts with faculty and staff.  Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.

It shall also be the responsibility of every student enrolled at Missouri Valley College to be respectful of the right of other students, staff, and instructors to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere conducive to the educational goals of an institution of higher learning.  Rude or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.


Student actions that do not adhere to the MVC Student Code of Conduct will be addressed according to College policies regarding academic dishonesty and disruptive behavior.  Students who exhibit dishonest, disruptive, or disrespectful behavior risk suspension or expulsion from the institution.





Academic integrity is expected and required of all students. Students and faculty are responsible and accountable for personally upholding that integrity. Cheating will not be tolerated, and students found guilty of cheating in any way will be disciplined according to the Academic Dishonesty Policy in the MVC College Catalog.  The following penalties may be applied:

  1. Reprimand.

2.       Requirement that the student repeats and re-submits the same or alternate assignment. In such cases, the grade or mark awarded will be reduced or limited at the discretion of the faculty member.

3.       Completion of the Plagiarism Tutorial found at the student’s Moodle site. (Must be completed  if this is the student’s first plagiarism offense)

4.       A mark of "0" will be given for the assignment with no opportunity to resubmit. This may result in failure of the course.

5.       A failing (F) grade will be awarded in the course.

6.       Automatic failing (F) grades in all courses in which the student is registered, and no fees will be refunded for that semester. This penalty will only be imposed by the student's program division chair or the Chief Academic Officer.

  1. Expulsion from Missouri Valley College, permanently recorded on the student's record. This penalty will result in automatic failing (F) grades in all courses in which the student is registered, and no fees will be refunded for that semester.



Attendance is expected and required at each class meeting.  Every three(3) unexcused absences will cause a drop of one full letter grade.


Any student who misses two consecutive weeks of class or has missed 50% of class periods by mid-term may be administratively withdrawn from class.  If the withdrawal takes place within the first 6 weeks of class, the student will receive a grade of “W”.  If the withdraw takes place after the 6th week of class, the student will receive a “WF” or “WP”.  The student will be notified of this action by the Registrar’s Office.  Readmission will be considered only for extenuating circumstances as approved by the Chief Academic Officer and Registrar.  In such cases, where readmission is approved, a readmit fee of $350 will be charged.  If a student drops below full-time status of 12 hours, financial aid may be adversely affected.  Resident students dropping below 12 hours will be asked to move out of campus housing. 



The College seeks to comply fully with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  The ADA Coordinator works with the programs to assist the faculty in understanding and implementing accommodations.


Students with disabilities should have documentation of their disability sent to the campus ADA coordinator, Jamie Gold, Baity Hall, Room 206, 831-4170, and set up an appointment as soon as they arrive on campus.  Failure to do so could delay accommodations.  After proper documentation, reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate students’ needs.  If you have any questions about how to initiate this process, please contact your instructor.