Fall 2023  |  PA 5271 Section 001: Geographic Information Systems: Applications in Planning and Policy Analysis (23310)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person
Enrollment Requirements:
Urban/Regional Planning, major and minor or PA PhD
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/05/2023 - 12/13/2023
Mon 06:00PM - 08:45PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 85
Enrollment Status:
Open (25 of 32 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Introduction to GIS. Applications in public planning and policy analysis. Operational skills in GIS software. Mapping analysis of U.S. Census material. Local/state government management/planning. Spatial statistical analysis for policy/planning. prereq: Major in urban/regional planning or instr consent
Class Notes:
Non-MURP students should contact Geoff Maas (maas0021@umn.edu) regarding the waiting list/permission numbers. Permission numbers will be distributed later this summer. http://classinfo.umn.edu/?maas0021+PA5271+Fall2023
Class Description:

GIS Applications in Planning and Policy Analysis is intended for the planning and public policy student who desires a fundamental working knowledge of the core concepts of GIS. Students can expect to work with geospatial data in a lab environment, develop core skills in working with, manipulating and understanding geospatial data. Lectures explore the data types, origins, uses and limitations.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are an important supportive technology for the fields of planning and public policy. Both fields involve exploring location-based issues and GIS facilitates spatial visualization of phenomena such as crime, poverty, pollution, health, land use, economics, environmental conditions and many others. GIS - a discipline in its own right - is now firmly woven into the fabric of government and many business operations. It is vital that planning and public policy students have a fundamental knowledge of the concepts, usage, processes and potential of GIS technology.
Who Should Take This Class?:
Students interested in working with spatial data, making maps, presenting and communicating spatial data.
Learning Objectives:
Development of foundational skills in GIS, understanding of the various uses and limits of the technology and how it can be applied to the work of urban planning, public policy, public health and urban studies.
10 Lab Assignments using GIS Software (55% of grade)
Class Attendance (10% of grade)
Final Project (25% of grade)
Final Exam (10% of grade)
Exam Format:
Final Exam: Cumulative, written exam for core concepts covered in the class.
Class Format:
Tuesday Evenings: 6:00 PM - 8:45 PM
Emphasis is on topical lectures, in-class lab exercises and assignments. Students will leave the course with a firm command of core GIS and geospatial concepts, tools, processes and methods and their applicability to the fields of urban and regional planning and policy analysis.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/maas0021_PA5271_Spring2019.pdf (Spring 2019)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/maas0021_PA5271_Fall2018.docx (Fall 2018)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/maas0021_PA5271_Spring2018.pdf (Spring 2018)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/maas0021_PA5271_Spring2016.pdf (Spring 2016)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/maas0021_PA5271_Fall2015.pdf (Fall 2015)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
10 November 2017

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