2015 Interterm Course Offering

In 2015 the Spatial Analysis Lab will instruct a one week Interterm class open to all students, faculty, staff, and Northampton community members. The course will be taught in the first week of Interterm  (Jan 5th – Jan 9th) from 1-3pm each day. The structure will be somewhat informal and may end early or stretch late depending on the day.

Please Register — we may have already exceeded capacity, but if you get on the wait list there is a good chance you will still be accepted.

Schedule (tentative):

Day 1:

  • Lecture: Intro to GIS – what is GIS? We all wonder this, even in the Spatial Analysis Lab where you might think we’ve got it figured out!
  • Overview of the scope of the week and how it might fit into the greater context of individual projects
  • Lab 1 – Siting Problem Lab: Where to Locate a Free Health Care Clinic in Northampton

Day 2:

  • Lecture: GIS Data Day! – promises to be exciting
  • Lab 2 pt 1: Intro to Georeferencing
  • Lab 2 pt 2: Intro to Joins
  • Free form mapping activity

Day 3:

  • Lecture: Basics of Cartography
  • Discussion: good and bad mapping techniques
  • Lab 3: Explore mapping with quantitative and qualitative data

Day 4:

  • Lecture: Raster v Spatial Data
  • Discussion: Environmental GIS & mapping
  • Lab 4: Bike-ability Analysis of 5-College Towns

Day 5:

  • Odds & Ends, Map Challenge!
  • Friendly competition that ties all parts together and rewards winning group with a prize!


GIS Skills acquired (hopefully):

– Getting used to the  GIS interface

– Adjusting symbology

– Select by attributes

– Select by location

– Field data collection (optional with GPS data collection, TDB)

– Address mapping

– Digitizing paper maps/historic maps

– Joining table data to shapefiles

– Mapping quantitative data

– Mapping categorical data

– Creating a good map layout: multiple data frames, making a legend, elements of a finished map

– Recognizing rasters; cell size/raster attributes

– Using the toolbox

– Spatial joins