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INTL432 - Geographic Information Systems I

Course Details

Course Code: INTL432 Course ID: 3210 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) contain a powerful set of tools for data acquisition, management, query and display. This course will provide students first with a substantial foundation in the history of cartography and mapmaking. The second major emphasis of this course will merge both theoretical and historical information with hands-on practical training utilizing the basic tools provided with the GIS software. Students will become familiar with the importance of metadata, editing and updating metadata and how this is important to the success or failure of the dataset as a whole.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

This course is designed contribute to student’s short and long term educational goals while ensuring students obtain the knowledge and skills outlined in this syllabus. Students need to establish a functional educational relationship between themselves and the instructor as well as a synergistic interface amongst the entire class. Do this through using all relevant features of the present Sakai Learning Management System and maintaining a supportive and collaborative learning experience bolstered by courtesy and respect.

Much of your grade for this course will be based upon the demonstrated mastery of goals outlined in the schedule below. Generally speaking, this program of instruction will offer students the opportunity to learn about spatial relationships among physical and/or human elements. In the real world, this can often be very confusing and overwhelming because it is difficult to mentally incorporate all the factors that may influence a decision or action. ArcGIS presents students with a way to incorporate, manage and visually display a list of confusing factors into a convenient and easy-to-understand media: The map. Therefore, by the end of this course, students should have a solid understanding of how to import, manage, analyze, and display answers to spatial research questions using ArcGIS software.

Where possible, the military intelligence applications of our weekly work together will be emphasized, although focus will also be made on governmental and commercial applications as the opportunities arise. The successful student will be prepared to complete the following learning objectives:

CO-1: Demonstrate the skills to lay out, save, and export to a presentation venue basic geospatial maps using the Toolwire virtual lab using the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Geographic Information Systems (ArcMap) software Version 10.1.

CO-2: Explain the value of objective analytic tradecraft to spatial problem sets.

CO-3: Apply ArcCatalog data as layers to a map.

CO-4: Implement basic ArcGIS functions relating to databases, layers, labels and features.

CO-5: Articulate how to assess data from multiple sources in terms of its usefulness, accuracy, and potential for application into an ArcGIS project.

CO-6: Explain and apply the basic geometries of geodatabase feature classes.

CO-7: Explain how GIS supports the four steps of Geospatial Intelligence Preparation of the Environment.

Discussion Forums – 25 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET, and respond to more than two of your classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET.

Progress Assignment – 25 percent

The Progress Assignment is due at the end of week 2, and consists of lab and written work.

Midterm Assignment – 25 percent

The Midterm Assignment is due at the end of week 4, and consists of lab and written work.

Final Assignment – 25 percent

The Final Assignment is due at the end of week 8, and consists of lab and written work.

Please visit and search by the course number (ex: LITR210) to access your required resources.

Our text is an E-book and directions for accessing it are located as an attachment to the Week 1 Forum. If you encounter difficulties viewing the e-book, please visit the HELP/FAQs section of the Online Library. If you still have questions, please contact for assistance.

Please Note: Stateside students will not be sent the hard copy version of this text. If you wish to purchase the text, you may do so through our recommended bookstore ED MAP or the bookseller of your choice.

Additional Resources

Booth, Bob and Mitchell, Andy. Getting Started with ArcGIS GIS by ESRI. n.d.
(accessed 18 August 2013).

Barry Katz. The Arts of War: "Visual Presentation" and National Intelligence Source: Design Issues,
Vol. 12, No. 2, (Summer, 1996), pp. 3-21 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: Available to Students as a pdf.

Betz, Chris. "GIS and Multimedia in the Military." Directions Magazine. March 18, 2003. (accessed
August 15, 2013).

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Joint Publication 2-03 Geospatial Intelligence in Joint
Operations. Washington: JCS, 2012. Retrieved from: HYPERLINK "http://www.dtic.mi
/doctrine/new_pubs/jp2_03.pdf" . Last
accessed 15 August 2013

Heuer, Richards J., Jr. The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis (Washington, DC: Center for the Study
of Intelligence, 1999), Retrieved from HYPERLINK "
/PsychofIntelNew.pdf . last accessed 14 August 2013.

Newkirk, Greg and Perkes, Trevor. Gaining Competency With GIS: How-to Manual for ArcGIS
Desktop, Version 10. (Idaho: Maia L.L.C., 2010), Retrieved from .Last accessed 11
November 2015.

Rosen, Rebecca J. "Interactive Gettysburg: Using Modern Mapping Tools for a New Look at the
Historical Battle." The Atlanic. July 1, 2013.
battle/277432/ (accessed August 15, 2013).

National Park Service. "OCOKA Military Terrain Analysis." Vicksburg National Military Park. n.d.
(accessed August 15, 2013).

Singh, Major Jagmohan. "The Importance of GIS of Battlefield Surveillance." Geospatial World. 2004. (accessed August
15, 2013).

Sherbinin, Alex de. CIESIN Thematic Guides, Land-Use and Land-Cover Change. New York,
September 2002.
/ciesin_lucc_tg.pdf (accessed August 15, 2013)

Smithsonian Institution . "A Cutting-Edge Second Look at the Battle of Gettysburg." Smithsonian
Magazine. July 1, 3013.
Edge-Second-Look-at-the-Battle-of-Gettysburg.html (accessed August 15, 2013).

Wikipedia. "Participants in Operation Enduring Freedom." Wikipedia. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.or
/wiki/Participants_in_Operation_Enduring_Freedom (accessed August 15, 2013).

The Lesson folder contains various resources to include weekly lectures in .pdf format or MS PowerPoint presentations. Material found there is likely to appear in the Assignments as appropriate.

Required Journal Articles and Internet sources will be provided in appropriate Forum folders.


In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note Web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name Website URL/Address Websites

In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note Web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website/URL Address

Lab Week 1: Cuba Maps cuba_physical_geog/no_legend/research_resources.htm

Geospatial Intelligence Support to Joint Operations

Geospatial Intelligence Basic Doctrine - Publication 1-0

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

Getting Started with ArcGIS

Washington DC GIS Data Catalog

ESRI Help 10.1

The Importance of GIS in Battlefield Surveillance

Spatial Environment Contributing to Battlefield Success

GIS and Multimedia in the Military

OCOKA Military Terrain Analysis

Introduction to Terrain Analysis

CIESIN Thematic Guides, Land-Use and Land-Cover Change. New York, September 2002

Book Title:Gaining Competency with GIS: How-To Manual for ArcGIS Desktop Version 10 - e-book link available inside the classroom and APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Maia LLC
Author:Newkirk, Perkes
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #.
Author: No Author Specified
Book Title:ArcGIS Software - available inside the classroom
Publication Info:ESRI
Electronic Unit Cost:$70.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.