geologic and environmental gis geos 5350 spring 2011 t th 9 30 10 45am l.
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Geologic and Environmental GIS GEOS 5350 Spring 2011, T-Th (9:30-10:45am). Mohamed Sultan: Office Hours: Tuesday (4-5) Lab: Adam Milewski Office Hours: Thursday (4-5). Course Description.

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Geologic and Environmental GIS GEOS 5350 Spring 2011, T-Th (9:30-10:45am)

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geologic and environmental gis geos 5350 spring 2011 t th 9 30 10 45am

Geologic and Environmental GISGEOS 5350 Spring 2011,T-Th (9:30-10:45am)

Mohamed Sultan:

Office Hours: Tuesday (4-5)

Lab: Adam Milewski

Office Hours: Thursday (4-5)

course description
Course Description

The course provides rigorous hands-on-exercises (based on data from case studies) on the applications of statistical methods, GIS technologies, and other computer-based software to the management, analysis, and display of multidimensional, geological, hydrogeological, and environmental data sets (70% of student effort). The course will cover (30% of student effort) the fundamentals of spatial data analysis and GIS technologies as well, since the students can not start dealing with applications unless they understand the fundamentals. In addition, students will be required to complete a research project using spatial data sets and acquired expertise

  • There are no required books
  • The material presented will be extracted from multiple sources including but not limited to:
  • Chang, KT, 2006, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, McGraw Hill
  • ESRI ArcGIS text as PDF files
  • Bonham-Carter, G.F., 1996, Geographic information systems for geoscientists, pergamon press, 398 pp.
  • Sickle, J.V., 2004, Basic GIS Coordinates, CRC Press
access course material drop assignments
Access course material & drop assignments
  • Online course material: Go to

  • Each of you will be assigned a folder on the ESRS server
course outline
Course Outline


GIS Fundamentals & Applications - Mohamed Sultan (10 weeks)

This section will be mainly dedicated towards understanding and exploring the use of GIS technologies (mainly ArcGIS9.3 software) to address various geologic and environmental problems of concern including the following:

Geographic Information Systems

Coordinate systems and projections

Representation of Spatial Data

Data Types

Raster Data

Vector Data

Map Projections

Spatial Data Input

Data conversion

Editing Spatial Data

Data Attributes

Fundamentals and Applications of GPS

Generating and Interpreting Elevation Data

Watershed Delineation and Analysis

Spatial Data Models

Spatial Interpolation


Theissen Polygons

Inverse Distance Weighted

Radial Basis Function

Global Polynomial


Future trends in GIS

Web-based GIS

3-D visualization (Geowall applications)

getting started with arcgis
Getting Started with ArcGIS

Kang-tsung Chang, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

ESRI, ArcGIS Desktop

ESRI, ArcGIS Extensions

hands on exercises
Hands on Exercises
  • Geology, hydrology, and landforms of Michigan
  • Assessment of groundwater resources in arid lands
  • GPS applications (Asylum Lake)
  • Land Use and Land Cover Change of the Mesopotamian marshlands
  • Origin and evolution of groundwater in the Arabian Peninsula
  • Development of a web-based GIS
  • Evaluation of Seismic risk
  • Creating geoprocessing tools
projects 2 3 weeks
Projects - (2/3 weeks)
  • The last 2/3 weeks will be spent on a project. Groups of 3 students will work on a single project. Graduate students will be encouraged to apply the gained expertise to their ongoing research.
  • This should be the fun part and each of you will generate a product that can be “graded”. This is preferably a (part of) your thesis/dissertation project or some other project that you are committed to and have use for outside of our class. We have lots of projects laying around if you have no project in mind.
your responsibility
Your Responsibility

A written abstract/prospectus for the project before semester break. This will include the objective of your project, location, data, and analysis techniques, along with a description of the anticipated final product. We will also ask that you present an introduction to the project (before semester break if possible) in class in power point format. The final project presentation near the end of the semester will be in power point format and a report will be required.

  • Lab exercises: 60%
  • Mid term: 10%
  • Project: 20%
  • Final Exam: 10%
  • N.B: Expectations are higher for graduate students

A Computer System for capturing, storing, querying, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced data (geospatial data, geographically referenced data)

three views for a gis
Three Views for a GIS

The geodatabase view:

A GIS is a spatial database containing datasets with geographic attributes

The geovisualization view

A GIS is a set of intelligent

maps and other views that show features and feature relationships on the earth’s surface.

The geoprocessing view:

A GIS is a set of information

transformation tools that derive new geographic datasets from existing datasets. These geoprocessing functions take information from existing datasets, apply analytic functions, and write results into newly derived datasets.

  • ArcGIS provides a framework for implementing
  • GIS for a single user or many users on desktops, in servers,
  • over the Web, and in the field.
  • ArcGIS is an integrated collection of GIS software products for building a complete GIS.
building blocks of arcgis
Building Blocks of ArcGIS

ArcGIS Desktop—An integrated suite of professional

GIS applications

ArcGIS Engine—Embeddable developer components

for building custom GIS applications

Server GIS—ArcSDE®, ArcIMS®, and ArcGIS Server

Mobile GIS—ArcPad®

ArcGIS is based on ArcObjects™, a common, modular library of shared GIS software components.

desktop arcgis components
Desktop ArcGIS Components
  • ArcMap
  • ArcCatalog
  • ArcToolbox
  • Optional Extensions
    • 3D Analyst
    • Spatial Analyst
    • Geostatistical Analyst

Central application in ArcGIS Desktop for

all map-based tasks including cartography, map analysis, and editing.

ii arccatalog
II - ArcCatalog

Helps users organize and manage geographic information (maps, models, metadata)

  • Create and Manage Files
  • Define, build, export, import geodatabases
  • Connect to internet services
  • Record, view, and manage metadata
iii arctoolbox
III – ArcToolbox
  • Data Management (import and export data)
  • Data conversion (one format to another)
  • Cartography
  • Manage Databases
  • Manipulate Vector and Raster Data
  • Manage Tables
  • Statistical analysis
iv 3 d analyst
IV- 3-D Analyst

With ArcGIS 3D Analyst, users can:

  • view a surface from multiple viewpoints,
  • determine what is visible from a chosen location on a surface
  • create a realistic perspective image by draping raster and vector data over a surface.
v spatial analyst
Users can create, query, map, and analyze cell-based raster data, derive information about their data, identify spatial relationships.

– Contouring Data

– Raster Calculations (GRID functions)

V – Spatial Analyst
vi geostatistical analyst
Provides statistical tools for analyzing and mapping continuous data and for surface generation.


level of spatial autocorrelation,

and variation among multiple datasets.

VI - Geostatistical Analyst
  • Most functions are documented in the online help
  • Help menus are easy to use and fairly complete
  • offers additional help
geographic data models
Geographic Data Models
  • Vector Models
    • Topological
    • Non topological
  • Raster Models
  • Tin Models
vector versus raster
Vector Data Representation : Uses X,Y coordinates and points to represent spatial features

Raster Data Representation uses grid (rows, columns) to represent variations

Vector versus Raster
i vector model points lines polygons
Points are pairs of x,y coordinates.

Lines are sets of coordinates that define a shape.

Polygons are sets of coordinates defining boundaries that enclose areas.

I - Vector model: Points, Lines, Polygons
Topological vector:

Expresses spatial relationships (e.g., two lines meeting at a point)

Simple and compact data storage

Display quickly

Difficult to find and fix errors

Method of choice when need a

“simple map”

Example Coverage

Nontopological vector

Does not

More complicated and less compact data storage

Not as quickly

Can “clean up” maps easily.

Method of choice when need “smart map”

Example: Shapefile

Spatial features in a GIS usually have associated data called “attributes”

Attribute data describe characteristics of spatial features

attributes vector


Attributes - Vector
  • Attributes associated with each feature are stored in data tables
ii raster
World is represented as a surface that is divided into a regular grid of cells

A 2-D matrix with values for each cell

Data are divided into rows and columns

Location is a function of the structure (i.e. size of each cell).

II - Raster

X,Y coordinates of at least one corner of the raster are known, so they can be located in geographic space




Raster models are useful for storing and analyzing data that is continuous across an area.


Grids can also be created by converting vector data


They can also store categories, such as for vegetation types

attributes raster
Attributes - Raster
  • Grids storing categorical information can store additional attributes about each category
  • Unlike vectors where attribute is stored for each feature, here for each category a numeric code, the name of the vegetation type, a habitat suitability rating for certain wildlife species, and a general type code.
iii tin model
III – TIN Model
  • In a triangulated irregular network model, the world is represented as a network of linked triangles drawn between irregularly spaced points with x-, y-, and z-values.
  • TINs are an efficient way to store and analyze surfaces.
  • Heterogeneous surfaces that vary sharply in some areas and less in others can be modeled more accurately, in a given volume of data, with a triangulated surface than with a raster.