Spring 2021 - GEOG 255 D100

Geographical Information Science I (3)

Class Number: 2774

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 22, 2021
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 100 or 111 or permission of instructor.



A basic overview of Geographical Information Systems and Science; GIS software, hardware, data structures and models; spatial data, operations and algorithms; practical applications and limitations. Students with credit for GEOG 354 may not take this course for further credit. Quantitative.


GEOG 255 introduces the “hardware” and “software” of Geographic information Systems and sciences. Students will be exposed to series of key geospatial models, data, operations, and practice GIS using ArcGIS Desktop with real world data. This course also introduces cartographic modelling, map design, and communication in the language of GIS.

Lecture (including guest speakers): delivered synchronously, however, an audio recording and course notes/slides will be made available to the entire class.

Tutorial/lab/seminar: delivered synchronously. Students will also be able to access to SFU overflow lab outside the lab session.

No labs in the first week of class.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts used in GIS
  2. Develop conceptual designs for GIS databases
  3. Develop informed field data collection and management techniques
  4. Conduct spatial and logical queries on geospatial data
  5. Describe and communicate analytical findings to a non-technical audience
  6. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of GIS software (e.g. esri product) capabilities
  7. Understand the conceptual and practical limitations and advantages of GIS


  • Lab assignments: 30%
  • Midterm exam (asynchronous): 25%
  • Term project presentations: 20%
  • Final exam (asynchronous): 25%


Midterm and final exams will be asynchronous to accommodate remote learning.



Access to SFU PC with ArcGIS Desktop 10.x and R installed.

  • Technical requirements the students should be aware of
  1. Students are expected to know how to access SFU lab PCs from or outside Canada
  2. Students are expected to have access to CANVAS and ZOOM throughout the course of this class
  3. An audio input device is also recommended for class interaction. Webcam devices are needed but encouraged to have
  4. A VPN service may also be needed for students who are located in regions where certain internet services are inaccessible.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).