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GIS Classes @ Calvin

Semester Classes

  • GEOG 261 GIS & Cartography (4). F and S. Focus on geographic information systems (GIS) and the art and science of mapping for spatial analysis. Map design techniques and visual communication using GIS vector and raster data forms will be explored, as well as a variety of methods for analyzing spatial relationships. Topics include those of the physical world and landscape, social justice, poverty, and a significant project on atlas creation for developing countries. This course has a lecture and lab component and lab work will give practical experience to students using the ArcGIS suite. Students will complete a GIS project tailored to their disciplinary interest.
  • GEOG 295 Remote Sensing of the Environment (3) S, alternate years. This course introduces students to remote sensing theory and application. Investigation of the environment from remote sensing technology results in applied work. Sensors, satellites, ground truthing, aerial imagery, and spectral analysis are emphasized in lecture and lab. Labs use Erdas Imagine software along with the ArcGIS suite.
  • GEOG 361 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (4). S, alternate years. This course introduces advanced themes in Geographic Information Systems including spatial database design, spatial algorithms, implementation and design, and advanced GIS applications including designs for community development and service tailored to individual students’ major field of study. Prerequisites: Geography 261 with the grade of C or better.

January Interims

  • GEOG W40 The Geography of Terrorism. This course introduces students to terrorism from a geographic perspective. The course is formatted to provide both foundational theory and practical skills as a lecture and lab. Lectures and readings will include a variety of topics on terrorism, including investigation of definitions of terrorism, various historical and modern forms of terrorism, critical theory, issues of Christian faith in relation to terrorism, Homeland Security, and the state-of-the art of terrorism research from a geographic perspective. Laboratory work will be conducted using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Lab work will explore the spatial analysis and mapping of multiple forms of terrorism, vulnerability and threat analysis, border issues, privacy, international relations, and weapons of mass destruction.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Geography major and minor. No pre-requisite is required and the class if open to all students; however, Geography 261 is recommended.  8:30 a.m. to noon.
  • GEOG W40 GIS and Urban Environments. The urban system is explored using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The focus includes a contemporary overview of urban geography and spatial analysis principles for urban environments. There is a lecture and lab component and NO prerequisite course is required. However, GEOG 261- GIS & Cartography is recommended. Intermediate computer skills are necessary. Labs include the following themes: GIS Introduction, population dynamics, urban expansion, squatter settlements, urban planning, neighborhood demographic changes, site location placement, geo-processing, location theory & quotients, urban sprawl, air pollution, & water resource demands. Evaluation is based on Graded lab exercises and a final exam.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Geography major and Urban Studies minor.8:30 to noon.





Ecosystem GIS


  • Check out our training videos using the Trimble Juno GPS units.

    Some of these courses at Calvin use our GPS units to build synergy across the campus:
  • - Geography 261 - GIS & Cartography
  • - Geography 361 - Advanced GIS
  • - Biology 250 - Research Design & Methods
  • - Biology 346 - Plant Taxonomy