Hill Computer Lab Testing Hours (the lab will be closed to all students not participating in the Pearson Test): Course Description: We will study the fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), including basic cartographic principles, general geography concepts, spatial analysis techniques, and hardware and software elements of GIS. We will complete lab exercises that apply GIS technology to fields of study such as environmental science, engineering, political science, health, business, government, and criminal justice. We will learn GIS terminology, raster and vector data structures, data sources and accuracy, methods of data acquisition, conversions and input, and working with spatial databases. A working knowledge of Windows operating system required. Exercises require work in the computer lab (Hill 114) outside class hours. GIS Overview: This course uses the leading desktop GIS software, ArcGIS, from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and covers geospatial concepts (coordinate systems and projections, vector map topology, tiled and layered maps), map design, GIS outputs, geodatabases, importing spatial and attribute data, digitizing, geocoding, spatial data processing, and spatial analysis. ArcGIS is the world’s largest GIS application software package. It is the best storehouse of geospatial functions and processing. While Google Maps and similar web-based map display systems have brought maps into popular use, those systems are far from replacing desktop software such as ArcGIS for primary GIS spatial data authoring, composition and analysis. A GIS integrates, stores, edits, analyses, shares, and displays spatial data for informed decision-making. GIS uses advanced analytical software to explore spatial relationships, patterns, and processes of biological, cultural, demographic, economic, geographic, physical, and other phenomena. GIS is a tool for the manager analyst, statistician, engineer, scientist, and other knowledge workers concerned with location. Industries benefiting from GIS technologies include: natural resources management, business, defense and intelligence, education, government, health and human services, mapping and charting, public safety, transportation, utilities, and communications. GIS can also provide location-based services and cloud-computing. The integration of GPS functionality and increasingly powerful mobile electronics (cell phones, tablet computers, laptops) allows many organizations to use GIS for mobile commerce and productivity. Source.