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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 26-Mar-24

Fall 2024 | ENV-1120-VO01 - Geospatial Technology

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 10 (as of 07-21-24 3:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Hilary Ivy
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jen Guarino

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Digital and Technical Literacy
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of geospatial technology, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), cartography, remote sensing, and spatial analysis through a series of hands-on computer-based exercises. Participants learn how to utilize geospatial technology to address social and environmental issues.

Essential Objectives

1. Describe the fundamental concepts of Geographic Information Science and Technology.
2. Explain basic functions and uses of geospatial software and hardware.
3. Employ fundamental remote sensing and spatial analysis techniques.
4. Demonstrate basic proficiency in map creation and design principles, including thematic map display, employment of map projections, and cartographic design.
5. Create and acquire spatial data using sources including the Global Position System.
6. Access and create different sources of data and evaluate their quality.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating, and applying quantitative data and information.
8. Explain how the analysis and presentation of spatial information has been used to perpetuate or disrupt systems of inequality.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a no cost textbook or resource class. ***

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


  1. Provide students with online discussions forum, narrated lectures, written online content, demo videos, and podcasts to develop knowledge of key concepts of computer applications.
  2. Develop an understanding of the social and ethical impacts of geographic data and geospatial information technology through reflection and online group discussion.
  3. Weekly lab assignments that help students become familiar with GIS software, data requirements and cloud computing technologies.
  4. Oversee applied field assignments, participatory GIS projects and individual presentation development.

Evaluation Criteria

Assignments are weighted by group:

· Quizzes: 5%

· Discussions & Content Completion: 20%

· Weekly Assignments: 25%

· Final Individual Project: 25%

· Group Presentation Project: 25%

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Class Assessment

Introduction to Geospatial Technology


Welcome & Introduction

  • Class Learning Objectives & Expectations
  • Syllabus & Individual Assignments
  • Group Project & Presentation
  • Introductions and first online discussion career tract


  • Art & Science of map making
  • Geography overview
  • Computer software
  • History

Hands-on Computer Analysis

  • Types of Maps
  • Map making software

Components of GIS

  • Setting up your ARC GIS instance
  • CartoDB & github
  • Data sources
  • Browsers & tabs

Week 1: Tuesday September 3rd - Monday September 9th

Individual Lab Assignment No. 1 - Establish Accounts

  • Activate all accounts, generate project folders & share to complete assignment. Due 11:59 pm on Monday, September 9th.

Discussion Post No. 1 - Introductions

  • Introduction posts to the class discussion board (250 word min) initial post by September 6th, Friday at 11:59pm
  • Two response posts to classmates (50 word min) by Sunday, September 8th at 11:59pm.


Introduction to Geographic Information Systems


GIS - Geographic Information Systems

  • Components of GIS
  • Applications of GIS
  • Advantage/disadvantage
  • Professional & Data Ethics of GIS practitioners

Week 2: Tuesday September 10th - Monday September 16th

Individual Lab Assignment No. 2 Mapping CCV Campuses

  • Use a dataset containing all CCV locations to generate a map adding multiple layers in ARC GIS. Due 11:59 by Monday September 16th

Discussion Post No. 2 - Brainstorming Project Ideas

  • Due 11:59 on Friday September 13th


Remote Sensing


Introduction to Remote Sensing

  • Measuring electromagnetic radiation
  • Active vs. passive remote sensing
  • Applications in the world

Week 3: Tuesday September 17th - Monday September 23rd

Lab Assignment No. 3

  • Due by 11:59pm Monday September 23rd

Individual Project Work

    • Hands on layer creation- track down data files and geographic layers related to your topic. Saving a list of these sources
    • Raw design sketch- Submit for comment your raw data and research files as a single folder with a share OneDrive of Google Drive folder link for comment and review

Discussion Post No. 3 - Finalize Individual Project Topic Work

  • Share abstract 250-500 words with discussion group fellows on the topic you will be focusing on for final project due by 11:59 Friday September 20th.


GPS - Global Positioning Systems (GPS)


Intro to GPS

  • Principles of GPS
  • Accuracy of GPS
  • Applications of GPS
  • Navigation

Week 4: Tuesday September 24th - Monday September 30th, 2024

Lab Assignment No. 4 - Open Street Map

  • Create OSM account & make a contribution to the map. Due by 11:59pm Monday, September 30th.

Participatory GIS - Class Canvas Project Brainstorm & Topic Selection

  • Students must complete all brainstorm and project development worksheets and submit with final topic suggestions by 11:59pm on Monday September 30th.


Google Earth Week


Join Google Earth Engine

  • Sourcing information and conducting research online
  • Identify case study & contribute post

Session 5: Tuesday October 1st - Monday October 7th,

Lab Assignment No. 5 - Google Earth Engine

  • Due by 11:59 pm on Monday October 7th

Discussion Post No. 4 - Google Earth Case Study

Contribute discussion on selected Case Study of Earth Engine applications

  • Initial post Due by 11:59 pm on Friday October 4th
  • Response posts to classmates by Sunday October 6th at 11:59pm

Individual Final Project - Folder Collection No. 1

  • Ensure all data files, map layers and research is saved to your Individual Final Project folders for first collection and review. Due by 11:59 pm on Thursday October 3rd




Participatory GIS

  • Building a digital map of the world
  • History
  • Types of efforts
  • Applications
  • Legal & Ethical Considerations

Data Ethics - Computing in the Cloud

  • Data stewardship
  • Securing your data

Week 6: Tuesday October 8th - Monday October 14th

Lab Assignment No. 6 - Crowdmapping

  • Due 11:59 by Monday October 14th

Discussion Post No. 5 - Geo Data Ethics

  • Due 11:59 on Friday October 11th

Participatory GIS - Class Canvas Project Work Folder Collection 1

  • Due 11:59 pm on Sunday October 13th


Chloropleth Mapping


Rendering Social, Health & Environmental Data Spatially

  • Integrating multiple data layers
  • Blending social, health & environmental data with geographic

Week 7: Tuesday October 15th - Monday October 21st

Lab Assignment No. 7 - Chloropleth Map

  • Due 11:59 by Monday October 21st

Individual Project - Folder Collection No. 2

  • Ensure all data files, map layers and support research are in your Project Folder by 11:59 pm on Monday October 21st




Dynamic Mapping in Carto

  • Cleaning data
  • Analyzing data
  • Creating time-series overlays

Week 8: Tuesday October 22nd - Monday October 28th

Individual Lab Assignment No. 8 - Dynamic Mapping in Carto

  • Due by 11:59pm on Monday October 28th

Individual Project - Respond to Instructor Comments & Attend 1:1s

  • Respond to instructor comments and complete 1:1 session by 11:59 on Friday October 25th


Open Source GIS



  • Making the Map - Review application of open source to crisis response
  • Digital Humanitarians
  • Do No Harm

Week 9: Tuesday October 29th - Monday November 4th

Lab Assignment No. 9 - Ushahidi

  • Due by 11:59pm on Monday November 4th

Discussion Post No. 6

  • Storytelling with Data initial post due by 11:59 pm on Friday November 1st
  • Two response posts to classmates due by 11:59pm on Sunday November 3rd


Online Research & Digital Information


Conducting Academic Research

  • Sourcing information and conducting research online
  • Citing information & verifying provenance
  • Education in the age ofdis/mis -information

Week 10 - Tuesday November 5th - Monday November 11th

Lab Assignment No. 10 - Using Geo Data when Conducting Academic Research

  • Due by 11:59 on Monday November 11th

Participatory GIS Project - Folder Collection No. 2

  • Submission of group folder containing all project files and data for initial review and comment by 11:59pm on Monday November 11th


Dynamic Content


Map Elements

  • Legends
  • Markers
  • What are layers?
  • Image areas
  • Enhancements & versioning
  • Saving formats & Reqs.

Session 11: Week of Tuesday, November 12th - Monday, November 18th

Individual Lab Assignment No. 11

  • Due by 11:59pm on Monday November 18th

Participatory GIS Project - Respond to Comments & Meet

  • Respond to instructor comments and attend zoom meeting with instructor complete by 11:59 pm on Friday November 15th


Mobile GIS


Pokemon GO!


Week 12 - Tuesday November 19th - Monday November 25th

Individual Lab No. 12 - Pokemon Go!

  • Capture some Pokemon either on your own or with family & friends. This activity is perfect for a public park or recreation area.
  • Create a Route layer and generate shareable link for submission in canvas by 11:59pm on Sunday December 1st

Individual Project - Folder Collection No. 3

  • Final Folder Collection for Individual Projects due by 11:59pm on Monday November 25th


Thanksgiving Week


Readings & Project Work Assigned


Online Tutorials & Project Work

  • Complete assigned readings and Tutorials by 11:59 pm on Monday December 2nd
  • Spend at least three hours working on final presentation deliverables - submit update on work by Monday December 2nd at 11:59pm to receive credit for work


Intelligent Machines


AI Systems & ML Algorithms in GIS Space

  • The Wild of Our Lives
  • Sentient Machines

Ethics, Fairness & Transparency

  • Current Issues

Week 14:Tuesday December 3rd - Monday December 9th

Class Canvas Project Due

  • Final Class Development and Design session contributions due by 11:59pm on Friday December 6th

GIS and AI Lab Assignment

  • Due by 11:59pm on Monday December 9th


Final Individual Presentations


Recorded Final Individual Project Presentation


Week 15: Tuesday December 10th - Monday December 16th

Final Individual Project Presentations

  • Submit link to Loom video recording of final individual project demonstration by 11:59 on Monday December 16th

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

A significant part of your grade in this class will be based on your participation and engagement in-class and group work. To earn full credit for participation students should:

  • Read, watch and or listen to content connected to that week's learning objectives.
  • Complete individual and group lab work
  • Participate in and make meaningful contribution to group projects
  • Submit individual final project and portfolio materials.

Before engaging in discussions students should read and be familiar with the course Ground Rules and CCV's Academic Integrity policy. The Ground Rules and Integrity policy are non-negotiable, failure to adhere to either will negatively impact final grades.

Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom. Attendance in class, collaborative group work and participating in discussions are required to obtain full credit for this course. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance. Please review CCV’s Attendance Policy for additional information.

Missing & Late Work Policy

  • Assignments are due by 11:59 pm the Monday after class. Please upload your assignments directly on Canvas.
  • It is your responsibility to regularly check Canvas to review weekly reading assignments, notes and materials if you have missed a class. Please reach out to me and ask any questions if this is unclear.
  • Plan to complete the labs even if you will be absent. Being absent is not an excuse for failure to complete and hand in homework assigned for the day.
  • Please avoid handing in work late, except in emergency situations. In the case if an extenuating circumstance, please communicate with me as early as possible about your need to miss class and/or an assignment.

Experiential Learning Expectations

Hours: 6-10

You will have at least eight hours of field learning that will occur during Week 5. During this week we will not meet in class for our Wednesday, October 4th session though the lab at your closest CCV campus is available to you individually or for group work at our designated time should you need to use it. I will hold live office hour blocks for students who have additional questions during this week.

Field Work Requirements: Total EIGHT Hours Work-time

Four Hours: Group Project Assignment - Students are expected to meet with their assigned group for field work related to final group presentations for at least two hours (via video or in-person) and conduct an additional two hours of further work (can be individually or collaboratively) on group projects. All materials and project work must be documented and submitted in the week's lab assignment to receive credit for attendance on this week.

Four Hours: Individual Research Project Assignment - Students will conduct field research for individual project completing at least four hours of work on required deliverables. Students submit all work by the assigned deadline to receive full credit for attendance this week and field work portion of grade on final assignment.


All students must submit notes and documents for field work by 11:59 pm on Tuesday October 10th, 2023. In order for the individual and the group work to be marked as ‘Attended’ and too receive credit for the week’s labs. Students will gain valuable experience in conducting research, identifying relevant service and community organizations, compiling artifacts and utilizing technology to capture, synthesize and report out on their findings.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.