Spring 2020 - GEOG 150 D200

Digital Earth (3)

Class Number: 9029

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Practical applications of geographic information techniques for analysis and problem-solving in multiple contexts. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.


Delivery Method: Completely Online

Course Description:
Practical applications of geographic information techniques for analysis and problem-solving in multiple contexts. GIScience is a well-established and integrative discipline at the intersection of spatial data management, spatial analysis and statistics, geovisualization and remote sensing. GIScience allows analysts to understand spatial patterns and act on them by visualizing and analyzing events on the earth using computers and digital data. A wide range of events can be studied using GIScience including patterns of: human settlement, natural landscapes and geology, water flows, animal movement, retail store siting, voting and politics, urban land use, human health, and criminal activity.

This course will demonstrate how the various GIScience components contribute to a more complete understanding of real-world events and processes. Students will also obtain an understanding of how GIScience analysis can be extended to benefit research and policy in a multidisciplinary context.

Course Organization:
There will be one key lecture by video per week. Students will learn about and practice geographic analysis techniques through the formal video lectures, computer labs, and assignments. There will be an emphasis on independent hands-on and problem-based learning. Selected short readings will enhance and extend understanding of the materials presented in the video lectures, and facilitate more meaningful participation on the discussion boards. The lecture quizzes will be based on these videos and short readings.

There will be one key lab demonstration by video per week. The computer lab demonstration will use data sets and software analysis to reinforce the methods presented in the lectures. Based on these lab demonstrations students will be able to complete the graded lab assignments and mini-project. These labs will allow students to apply GIScience techniques to a variety of problem contexts, and provide the basis for further study in GIScience and other areas. The course software will be available online to students.

Format: Completely online. The course begins in the first week of the term.

Prerequisites: Access to any modern computer or tablet, and reliable internet connection is necessary.

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


Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge about geographical information science concepts
- Obtain working competence in using software tools for problem-solving
- Conceptualize GIScience based solutions for a range of spatial problems


  • Course Participation 5%
  • Lecture Quiz 10%
  • Assignment 45%
  • Mini-Project 15%
  • Final Exam 25%


All marks in the course are absolute and hence NOT scaled or assigned based on a curve.



None. Specific supporting materials will be made available during the course.

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