Fall 2023 - GEOG 150 D100

Digital Earth (3)

Class Number: 3614

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2023
    Tue, 12:00–1:30 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Shivanand Balram
    1 778 782-2003
    Office: RCB 6143
    Office Hours: TBD



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


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 main lecture per week. The lectures will be asynchronous. Students will learn about and practice geographic analysis techniques through lectures, computer labs, and assignments. Selected short readings will enhance and extend understanding of the materials presented in the lectures.

There will be one main computer lab per week. The computer labs will be asynchronous. Data sets and software analysis will enable hands-on practice to reinforce the lecture concepts. The labs will help prepare students to complete the graded assessments and apply GIScience techniques to various problem contexts.

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

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


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


  • Participation 5%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • Assignments 35%
  • Midterm Exam (synchronous) 20%
  • Final Exam (synchronous) 30%


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


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



Textbook and Software:
- None. The software and required reading materials will be made available during the course.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.