gis applications in social geography by liuzedongsd


                              (nicknamed as GISSG)
                           GEOG 385.02/GTECH 785.02
                                  T, F 11:10-12:25
                     INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marianna Pavlovskaya
                                 Course webpage:

                     BlackBoard login page:

                  OFFICE HOURS: T, F 12:30-1:30 and by appointment


Welcome to the GIS Applications in Social Geography Home page. This site is meant to
complement the GIS course by providing basic administrative information as well as data
necessary for exercises and assignments. This site is always updated as the semester proceeds.
Please make sure that you check this page often.

     TUTORIALS, SOFTWARE)                  ASSIGNMENTS                      AND LAB HELP
                                     COMPETENCY EXERCISES
                                     MASTERY EXERCISES
                                     HOW TO TURN IN HOMEWORK           ACADEMIC CALENDAR
                                     TEAM WORK OR INDIVIDUAL WORK
                                     ESSAY (FOR GRAD STUDENTS ONLY)
                                     CLASS PROJECT


How to download data sets.


This course looks into how GIS can be used to critically analyze social power including
economic, racial, gender, and cultural inequalities. It will also explore how GIS can be part of
imagining social alternatives and creating new social spaces that aspire to social justice. We will
examine a number of key GIS analytical techniques and how they can be applied to address the
above issues. Hands-on GIS experience will be combined with readings, class discussions, and
invited speakers.

Most of the readings for this course are from the two textbooks and reserve materials. One
textbook and most tutorial exercises are available only digitally. All reserve materials will be
available digitally on BB and in the lab. Heywood et. al will be placed on reserve in the library.

An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems by Heywood et al., 2007 (available at
Shakespeare Bookstore). Previous editions are ok.

IDRISI Andes Guide to GIS and Image Processing, April 2006, by J. Ronald Eastman. Clark
Labs, Clark University. Available digitally on lab computers and BB.

Most tutorial exercises are available digitally on lab computers and course blackboard (BB).
Additional tutorials will be posted on BB and datasets will be downloaded from \scratch
directory. Information about what is assigned and when it is due is posted on GIS SG course


Two software packages will be used in class: Idrisi Andes (developed by Clark Labs at Clark
University, Worcester, MA) and ArcGIS (developed by ESRI). Both software packages are
available on all lab computers at the department.

Student versions of Idrisi are available from Clark Labs. They are functional for 1 year. Visit or call Clark Labs at (508) 793-7526 for details.

                                                                                          Top of page


Evaluation includes GIS exercises, exams, and a project. The exercises are competency
exercises, mastery exercises, and other assignments. Their content and due dates will be posted
in GIS SG course schedule each week. Project is an independent GIS project that involves
formulation of a research problem, data collection, analysis, writing up a report, and presenting
your project in the end of the semester. Graduate students will also write an essay about the
social impacts of GIS technologies using journal articles and present their findings to the class.
Grades will be assigned on a fixed scale following Hunter College Guidelines. In certain cases
you may work in teams.


Exercises and assignments                35%
Midterm Exam                             20%
Final Exam                               20%
Project                                  25%
Total                                   100%


Exercises and assignments                35%
Essay                                    10%
Midterm Exam                             15%
Final Exam                               20%
Project                                  20%
Total                                   100%

In a class like this, it is very easy to fall behind. LATE ASSIGNMENTS will be marked down.
They will not be accepted after the answers were handed out. NO MAKE UP EXAMS OR
ASSIGNMENTS are allowed.

NO LATE ARRIVALS PLEASE. Four late arrivals or three missed classes result in one point
less from your final grade.

                                                                                         Top of page


Competency exercises will guide you step by step through the problem to a solution.
Complementary to the lectures, these exercises will teach you the concepts of GIS as well as the
software tools that you need for Mastery exercises.


Mastery exercises are designed to test your ability to use GIS analysis independently. They will
build upon the concepts covered in class as well as the tools acquired through the competency
exercises. Each mastery exercise consists of a data set and a problem to be solved. The steps to
solving the problem will not be given but should be developed by each student.

A cartographic model, a screenshot of the final output, and a brief report detailing the procedures
used to solve the problem will be required for each mastery exercise.

The content of assignments and due dates will be posted in GIS SG course schedule.

Printed assignments are due before class.

In general, you will benefit most from the exercises if you do them by yourself. However, there
is a great value in team work and looking for solutions together. So, here are the rules:

Competency exercises can be done either individually or in teams of 2 or 3. If you work in a
team, hand in only one copy of answers with 2 or 3 names on it. All team members will get the
same credit.

Mastery exercises must be done individually. The whole purpose of these exercises is to give
you a chance to work independently and find a solution by yourself. These exercises will be a
foundation of your project work. Each student has to submit answers to all mastery exercises.

Projects will be done either individually or in teams depending on a number of students in
the class.

                                                                                          Top of page

ESSAY ON SOCIAL IMPACTS OF GIS (for graduate students only)

Short essay (for graduate students) should discuss at least three articles that engage the issues of
social impacts of GIS technologies. Articles can be chosen from the list of suggested readings or
you can find other articles by yourself (in this case please provide a copy of the article). More on


Class project is a major component of the course. Its goal is to give you a chance to apply
methods of analysis and techniques learned in class to your own dataset. You will formulate the
research problem, find the appropriate data, import it into a GIS, analyze it, and prepare a class
presentation of the results as well as a written report. More on Class project.


Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations,
obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious
offenses against the values of intellectual honesty. The College is committed to enforcing CUNY
Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the
Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures. Plagiarism, dishonesty, or cheating in any
portion of the work required for this course will be punished to the full extent allowed according
to Hunter College regulations.

PLAGIARISM will not be tolerated and all university rules regarding its occurrences will
be strictly followed.
                                                                                        Top of page

Fr, Aug 29                      First class meeting

Tu, Sep 30                      No class

Tu, Oct 14                      Monday schedule, no class

Fr, Nov 28                      Thanksgiving break, No class

Fr, Dec 12                      Reading day, no class

Tu, Dec 16                      Last class

Final exam                      Monday, Dec 22, 9-11, room 1022

Midterm exam                    To be announced 1 week in advance


Please see me during my OFFICE HOURS either in my office or 1090b HN lab.
Course home page

Please email your questions ( Usually I would get back to you
within a day or two excluding the weekends. IF EMAILING, Please indicate "GIS SG" in the
subject line.

Technical help in the lab

General info and how to get the account for using the labs

On-line technical help

Other help in the lab:

With problems regarding operating systems, logins, printers, and applications other than Idirisi
and ArcGIS email to
The following IT staff is to assist you:

      Nguyen Ngoc Nguyen ( is the Department's Windows
       systems administrator (all but GIS software).
      Amy Jeu ( is the Department's College Laboratory
       Technician (CLT). GIS, printing.
      Lab assistants for GIS support.


Please read carefully Lab Rules and regulations

Because you are enrolled into a GTECH class, your printing limit is 25 virtual dollars per
semester (regular amount is $15). Please email Nguyen to make sure your limit is brought up to
this level. The printing cost is 15c per page b/w and 50c per page in color. Once you spent all
you virtual dollars, you have to see Amy to refill with real dollars now.

When printing, make sure to check whether the default settings are appropriate. In particular, the
default setting for printing is to an image, not the paper, so you actually have to select the printer.

Also remember that you can print in color only from one machine in the lab. The default setting
on this machine, however, is to print in b/w. Therefore, make sure you select color when
printing, otherwise you will spend you 50 virtual cents on a b/w printout.


To be able to access and your S:\\scratch as well as your personal space on the server on the U:
drive, you need to request your user account. To do so fill out SPARS User Account Request
Form. Return this form to Tom Walter in 1003HN. For more details and to download the form
see General info and how to get the account for using the labs

BlackBoard (BB) logins

In order to log in on BB (to download data and check out the grades) you must have a CUNY
portal account. All students enrolled in Hunter courses can establish this account by following
the instructions on BB page ( Once you do that, let me know and I will
make sure you are included into the class list. From now on you should be able to log in on BB
and see our course. If you cannot see it, please contact BB help (see its webpage).

To top