Summer 2021 - GEOG 255 D100

Geographical Information Science I (3)

Class Number: 1220

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:


  • 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.


Course Organization:
This is an intersession course so the lecture sessions will be 4 hours (2 hrs x 2 days) per week for 7 weeks. The lectures will be a mixture of sync but mostly async components to give insights into the methods related to GIS and GIScience. The readings will enhance and extend understanding of the materials presented in the lectures. An individual or group final project will develop competence in linking technical and problem-solving skills.

This is an intersession course so the lab sessions will be 4 hours (2 hrs x 2 days) per week for 7 weeks. The labs will be a mixture of sync but mostly async components to provide practical skills in GIS and GIScience. Industry standard software will be freely available for your use by remote login to our computer labs for both Mac and Windows users. The emphasis will be on the mapping, transformation, and analysis of vector spatial data.

Format: Remote delivery. The course begins in the first week of the term.

The contents are subject to minor changes depending on the number of students and available resources.

For the rescheduled final exam date, please check with your course instructor.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Understand the special advantages of geographic data and information
- Explain, critically evaluate and practically apply GIS and GIScience concepts
- Demonstrate competence in using software tools for GIS-based analysis
- Creatively design and implement GIS analysis projects for real-world problem-solving


  • Participation and Engagement 5%
  • Assignments 40%
  • Mini-Project 25%
  • Final Exam (synchronous) - For the rescheduled final exam date, please check with your course instructor. 30%


Final Exam will be a combination of online and offline components with more details to be given when the course starts


Requirements for Remote Learning:
Modern Windows or Mac computer, video camera, microphone, keyboard, mouse, reliable internet connection.



(For lab work - you need to access a copy for use during the weekly computer lab sessions):
Law, M. and Collins, A. (2018). Getting to Know ArcGIS for Desktop. 5th Ed.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  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 ( or 778-782-3112).