Directed Research (in Geographic Information Science) GY580

13592 Section 001 WWW Blackboard 3 semester hours

Professor: Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
Office: 205 Martin Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. OR by appointment and through Blackboard IM, Blackboard Virtual Office Hours, or AOL IM
E-mail addresses: that will go to
Telephone: 256-782-8063 (please, contact me by e-mail)

Course Description: This course explores spatial statistics and compares them to classic statistics. The student will complete a research project using GIS and spatial statistics on an appropriate topic. A course in classic statistics such as PSC502 is an expected prerequisite along with extensive experience with ArcGIS from ESRI.

Purpose of the course: The purpose of this course is to use GIS to undertake a research project that utilizes basic spatial statistics and advanced processing techniques. Both a research proposal and a research report are required, and they must contain publishable quality maps. A narrated presentation of the results must, also, be submitted. This may be either in PowerPoint (.pptx) or video (.wmv) format. Thus, the course is to designed to assist the students in developing their skills to perform and to present professional quality research using GIS analysis.

Student Learning Outcomes:

The student will be able to:

Text: Wong, David W. S. and Lee, Jay, Statistical Analysis of Geographic Information with ArcView GIS and ArcGIS, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, 978-0-471-46899-8

Software required ArcGIS 10.2 (available from professor), MS Office 2007 or 2010, USB 1 G jump drive, headset (microphone and earphones), (optional) Windows Movie Maker or other video editor such as Camtasia and digital camera

Class Homepage: The class homepage is at and is linked to Dr. Hill's webpage at This site is mirrored at The syllabus is, also, linked to the class homepage.

Mandatory Assignment: Completion of a post-test is required. This will be limited to one attempt.

Grading: The grade in this class is either pass or fail. A passing grade requires the following work to be completed in a timely manner before announced deadlines.

Failure to complete any one of these activities satisfactorily will result in failure. In extreme and justifiable circumstances that cause a delay in the completion of the Research Report and Presentation, an incomplete may be considered. All work is submitted through Blackboard.

Reading Assignments: Use the attached schedule to read the chapters in the text and work through the materials as indicated. Complete the associated assignments in Blackboard.

Vocabulary Quizzes: Each chapter of the text will have a vocabulary test of terms and concepts contained within the chapter. These quizzes may be taken twice (set for three attempts). The highest grade will be considered. Each quiz must be completed at above the 70% level. If a quiz is not successfully completed, consult with the professor. It is not the intent for an unsuccessful quiz to result in the failure of the course, but such would indicate a serious problem in your progression through the course materials and the need for you to seek help. Extensive such situations will result in failure.

Chapter Activities: Each chapter of the text will have a set of activities to be completed. These will be a variety of activities using ArcGIS and/or Excel and data collection, manipulation, and analysis. The purpose will be to review and to apply the concepts covered in the text. Again, unsuccessful submissions indicate the need to seek assistance, and extended failures or omissions will result in failure.

Research Proposal: The research proposal is an important preliminary research document and may include additional sections when used for a grant proposal. The format must follow the prescribed structure using all headings and subheadings. The font must be Times New Roman 12 point written with Microsoft Office 2007 (2010) using the full functionality of the Reference Ribbon. All sources must be thoroughly and correctly documented. The format of documentation for the research report will be Turabian as defined by Microsoft Office 2007 (2010). The research proposal must be completed before the deadline to ensure satisfactory completion of research, writing, and presentation of the work before the end of the term.

The research topic must incorporate the testing of a research hypothesis, brief review of the extant literature, the collection of spatial data, the manipulation and analysis of this spatial data in ArcGIS, the application of appropriate spatial statistics, the construction of appropriate maps, graphs, and tables, and the testing of the statistical significance of the results. The topic will be mutually agreed upon between the student and the professor. If possible, the topic should reflect the student's area of study and career goals. The final paper should be of a quality suitable for professional publication or presentation.

Research Report: The format of the research report must follow the prescribed structure using all headings and subheadings. Other requirements match those of the research proposal.

Presentation: The research report will be reworked into a narrated presentation suitable for a class symposium or on-line presentation. To reduce workloads, this should be prepared AFTER the acceptance of the research report. The format may be either a narrated PowerPoint (.pptx) or a video in .wmv format. Documentation of sources shown are required on the appropriate visual aid and will be in Turabian format. The file will be submitted into Blackboard (if possible or otherwise exchanged). The approximate length of the presentation should be between ten and fifteen minutes.

Acceptance of Submissions: Upon submission, work will be edited and revisions required until the final products are deemed of suitable quality and completeness. Edits and revisions are an important part of the learning process; and as graduate students, your goal should be improving your skills and professionalization of your output. Allow sufficient time for revisions and to complete the required assignments.

Class Membership: Class members are expected to answer and ask questions, be involved in activities, and to facilitate an educational academic atmosphere. Proper attitude and behavior are expected. At all times presence should facilitate a smooth flow of intellectual ideas, knowledge, and intelligent discussion. Failure to contribute or promote this important goal demonstrates poor professional development.

Graduate Comprehensive Examination: For those graduate students who will be taking comprehensive examinations in order to complete their degree programs, sample comprehensive examination questions are posted in Blackboard. You are advised to archive all course materials, including these questions and the discussion boards in order to enable yourself to prepare as your "comps" approach. The Blackboard course may no longer be available. The time to begin your preparation is as you start each course.

Portfolio: Your work from this course should be retained in your professional portfolio.

Note: All materials presented in this class are done so with educational goals in mind and are not intended to cause distress of any nature. Please be aware that controversial materials, theories, exhibits, etc. will be presented in this class. If you are unwilling or unable to view these presentations in the educational light in which they are presented, then you need to reconsider your enrollment in this class.

Answers and grading will usually be succinct and to the point. No value judgment of you, your personality, character, or your intelligence is intended. Feedback is provided so that you can learn from your mistakes and improve the work that you are doing. The focus will center on what you can improve, and it is up to you not to lose sight of the accomplishments and progress that you are making. Do not get discouraged, but you must strive continually to improve your work. GIS is complex and multifaceted, and your work will contain far more things done correctly than the few things highlighted for improvement.

Citation of Sources: All sources must be properly credited. Work containing copyright violation or plagiarism will be rejected. Use Turabian format AS DEFINED by Microsoft Word 2007 (2010) for the documentation format. Entering the requested information correctly into the software with the Turabian setting will automatically generate the correctly formated information. Emphasis will be on entering the required information as indicated by MS Word 2007 (2010).

Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty is defined to include any form of cheating or plagiarism. A discussion of the topic is set forth in the student handbook. Citations for the ideas, quotes, and work of others are requried and failure to give credit is plagiarism. Working and studying with classmates are beneficial and to be encouraged. Copying work is not to be confused with comparing work and discussing similarities and differences. You are responsible for both understanding answers submitted and the completion of the materials. The material in this course is important not just for your grade but, also, for your future profession. All of the work is open book. SafeAssign will be used to check for plagiarism. Thoroughly document your work!

Notice: This syllabus is in no way binding. All information is subject to change. Any changes made by the instructor will be announced to the class through emails or posting to the Announcements area of Blackboard.

Questions or problems: Please contact the professor. Asking questions is an extremely important part of the learning process. Be specific. Incomplete information and vague questions only expand the time it will take for you to get an adequate response. Expect that I will ask you questions to ascertain what you understand so I can begin the answer from that point.

Making Contact: When e-mailing the professor, provide detailed information. Identify yourself, the course, the level, and the specific assignment. This will facilitate a more rapid and accurate response. We will use Blackboard IM to facilitate communication. If GEM (JSU e-mail system) is not your primary e-mail, place a forward on that account, and test it to be sure that it is functional. Blackboard uses GEM for e-mail contacts.

Disabilities: According to Public Law 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Jacksonville State University will provide reasonable access and appropriate accommodations for otherwise qualified disabled students. If you need such access or accommodations, please consult with Disability Support Services and your professor immediately. Where extended testing sessions are allocated, Blackboard continues to function after the original time settings are reached, and the scores and actual times used are reported. By clicking on the ! or grade, both student and faculty can view these reports and verify completion within the appropriate time limits.

Class Schedule: Use the outline provided to complete the assigned readings and assignments BEFORE the designated dates. By all means, work ahead of these deadlines. These are absolute final deadlines, not planned dates for completion! Work on the research proposal and report should be done well in advance of this schedule.

GIS 580 Directed Research (in GIS) Syllabus* F16

DATE WEEK TOPIC CHAPTER (may be completed earlier!)
Aug. 23-29 1 Spatial Statistics and Research 1
30-Sept. 5 2 Classical Univariate Statistics 2
6-12 3 Classical Bivariate Statistics 3
13-19 4 Hypothesis Testing 4
20-26 5 Descriptive Point Statistics 5
27-Oct. 3 6 Analyzing Point Patterns 6
4-10 7 Analyzing Line Patterns 7
11-17 8 Analyzing Polygon Patterns 8
18-24 9 Proposals Proposal DUE
25-31 10 Data Collection and Management
Nov. 1-7 11 Data Manipulation and Analysis
8-14 12 Research Reports Research Report DUE
15-28 13 Revisions
28-Dec. 2 14 Completion Final Report and Presentation DUE

*Any major changes to this schedule will be announced. All grades are final at 11:55 p.m., Monday, December 5, 2016.