Basics of GIS Courses


Sphere and Graticule

Parallels and Meridians

Latitude and Longitude

Prime Meridians

Graticule Properties

Spacing of Parallels

Converging Meridians

Great and Small Circles


Small Scale vs Large Scale

Lat/Long on Projections for Large Scale Maps

Horizontal Reference Datums


Vertical Reference Datums

Oblate Ellipsoid

Different Ellipsoids

Geodetic Latitude and Longitude

Map Scale and Projections

Representative Fraction, Verbal Scale, Scale Bar, Magnetic North

Scale Conversions

Determining Scale from known terrestrial features, reference material, spacing of parallels/meridians

Spheres (3D) and Flat Maps (2D)

Projection Process

Projection Families (geometric distortion and map projection surface)

Common Projections (Planar, Cylindrical, Conic, Pseudocylindrical)

Projection Properties

Tangent, Secant, Aspect

Spheres, Ellipsoids, Datums

Cartesian Coordinates

Grid Coordinates (UTM, UPSS, SPCS, US State Grids, European Grid Coordinate Systems)

Navigation (grid orientation and coordinate determination)

Grids as Rasters (Military, US National, Brittish National, and proprietary grids)

Land Partitioning

Irregular Systems (Metes and Bounds, French Long Lots, Spanish Land Grants, Donation Land Clims)

Regular Systems (Centuriation Systems)

National Public Land Survey Systems (US SPLSS, Survey Irregularities, Canada’s Domination Land Survey)

Land Records (Types and Land information Systems)

Contours to Represent Land Relief

Absolute Relief Mapping (Spot Elevations, benchmarks and soundings)

Contours, Isobaths, Hypsometric Tinting, Relief Shading

Relative Relief (Planimetric and Oblique perspective maps)

Stereoscopic Viewing

Dynamic Relief Portrayal (Animated and Interactive models)

Digital Elevation Model Data (NED, Topos, Shuttle Radar topography, Coastal Relief Model, LiDAR)


Aerial Photography (Black and White, True Color, Color IR, Low and High Altitude, Distortion in Photography)

Orthophotos and Orthophotomaps

Satellite Imagery (Weather Scenes, Earth resources satellites)

Map Accuracy

Cartographic Abstraction (selection, generalization, classification symbolization)

Uncertainty and Error, Precision and Accuracy, Error and Bias

Types of Accuracy (Positional, Attribute, Conceptual, Logical and Temporal)

Sources of Error (Factual, Obvious, Natural Variations, from Original Data, from Data Processing)

Distance Finding

Physical Distance and Functional Distance


Area (Counting Methods, Polar Planimeter, Coordinate Methods, Irregular Surface Area, Area and Small-Scale)


Volume (Discrete ordinate method, Slab summation, TIN)

Surface Analysis

Slope, Gradient, Aspect



Profiles and Cross Sections

Visibility Analysis


True North, Grid North, Magnetic North, Magnetic Declination

Large Scale Maps (Topo quadrangles, nautical charts, directions from grid coordinates)

Small Scale Maps (Great Circle Routes, Rhumb Lines, directions from coordinates)

Orienting the Map (Inspection Method, Compass Method)

Finding A Location (Distance Estimation, Resection Method, Measurement Instruments)

Locating Points (Intersection Method, Trilateration Method)

Navigating (Land, Sea, Air)


Satellites and Trilateration (GPS Components, Satellite Location, Elevation)

Accuracy (Error Budget, Carrier Phase, GPS Augmentation)

Data Quality (Time, Datums, Coordinate Systems, Elevation, Units, Databases)

Receivers (Multisensor, Handheld)

Data Collection (Position, Orientation, Adding Waypoints, Relative Location, Routes)

In the Field (Taking Notes, Secondary Compass, Ancillary Data Collection Tools)

Qualitative Thematic Maps

Points, Lines and Polygons

Single Theme Maps and Multivariate Maps

Change (Small multiples, change maps, superimposed maps)

Change in attribute over time, change in location over time

Quantitative Thematic Maps

Counts, Measurements, Spatial Samples, Measurement Levels

Single Theme and Multivariate Maps

Change (time composite maps, time series maps, attribute change maps, dynamic change maps)

 Spatial Pattern Analysis

Feature Counts


Spatial Association Analysis



Movement and Diffusion


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