Spring 2019

Course Description
With the fast development of computer technology, understanding and being able to work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other visualization software programs have become a required skill set for urban planners and designers. This class covers some of the most popular digital visualization programs used by planners and designers and focuses on the methods of digital visualization, communication and their applications to urban issues. Through a series of lab exercises, the instructor will introduce three specific software packages and demonstrate their applications with real urban projects. The set of software used in this course includes: ArcGIS, Photoshop, InDesign, Sketchup and Google Earth. The overall goals of this class are:

  • To obtain working knowledge of the visualization software packages commonly used in the practice world and develop competency, especially in their analytical capabilities.
  • To learn to communicate spatially using digital visualization tools with the general public, clients, and professionals (e.g. urban planners, designers, architects, and engineers).

This course is organized into two parts: 1) introduction to GIS; 2) digital visualization.  During the first half of the semester, the course will run as a lecture/lab combination and explore many basic geo-spatial analysis techniques using ArcGIS. Over the second half of the semester, the course will go through a number of computer visualization programs and learn how to integrate them together in a real planning project. The computer software packages covered in this course include Photoshop, InDesign, SketchUp and Google Earth. Students are also encouraged to form study groups to discuss and practice digital visualization tools together. 
Introduction to GIS
During the first half of the semester, the course will run as more of a lecture/lab combination and we will explore many basic geo-spatial analysis techniques together using ArcGIS, including:

  • Data Acquisition, File Organization, Map production
  • GIS/Query & Vector Analysis w/ Map Overlay
  • Raster Analysis w/ Spatial Analyst
  • Presenting Census Data in GIS
  • GeoCoding/Model Builder

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