Syllabus: Data Collection and Management GY459 Data Collection and Management GY459

GY459 001 22784 WWW Canvas 3 semester hours S20


This course is an advanced course using ArcGIS from ESRI. GIS510 OR GY307 OR equivalent prior experience with ArcGIS is absolutely required.


Professor: Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
Office: 205 Martin Hall
Office Hours: Monday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment and through MS Teams or Skype for Business

E-mail addresses: 
Telephone: 256-782-8063 (please, contact me by e-mail)

Course Description

Spatial Data Collection and Management (3). Methods of capturing data, acquiring and importing existing spatial data into geographic information systems, deriving spatial information from remotely sensed data, and storing spatial data.

Purpose of the Course:

This course is to designed to reinforce basic GIS fundamentals and to build skills in GIS data acquisition including finding, making, and importing spatial data and attributes and evaluating their quality, preproccessing GIS data to make them usable, and GIS data management in both local and enterprise spatial database systems. This class has a strong laboratory component using ArcGIS from ESRI.

Behavioral Objectives:

The student will be able to:


Texts: John R. Jensen and Ryan R. Jensen, Introductory Geographic Information Systems Boston: Prentice Hall (2012) 978-0136147763

Miriam Schmidts, Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate Certification Study Guide, ESRI Press, 2013, 978-1-58948-351-4

Software required ArcGIS 10.7 (available from professor), MS Office 2007 or newer, headset (microphone and earphones), webcam, Software required ArcGIS 10.7, computer capable of running this ESRI software (, 2 G USB jump drive possibly needed for data transfer, computer headset (earphones and microphone) is required.

Class Homepage:

The class homepage has a homepage and is linked to Dr. Hill's homepage.  The syllabus is, also, linked to the class homepage.


Class activities will include chapter vocabulary quizzes and lesson reviews, laboratory activities, lab exercises, and a final examination. The vocabulary quizzes count as 10%, lesson reviews count as 10%, and the final examination counts as 20%. Laboratory activities as 30% and lab exercises in the exercise portfolio counts as 30%. Bonus points may be awarded for exceptional work and extra credit activities. Guaranteed percentage grades will be: above 90% A; 80-90% B; 70-80% C; 60-70% D; below 60% (undergraduates) F. All work MUST be submitted before the DUE date. No late work will be accepted. All work must be submitted through Canvas. Invalid data submissions will receive no credit.

Reading Assignments:

Use the attached schedule to read the chapters in the texts and complete the exercises BEFORE the due dates as indicated.

Chapter Vocabulary Quizzes:

Each chapter of Jensen and Jensen has a multiple choice vocabulary quiz that can be taken three times (set for four attempts). The score displayed will be the highest retained by the system and calculated as a percentage for each quiz. Time overruns and crashes will count as zero, and only official scores count. Check the gradebook under My Grades menu or under Tools to see official scores.

Lesson Reviews:

Some lessons will contain a set of review questions to be completed. These should be satisfactorily completed before the due date. They will involve a combination of question formats including essay, short answer, fill-in, multiple choice, and matching. The purpose is to provide a thorough review of the material and to build question answering skills. These will be timed.

Final Examination:

The final examination will have multiple parts and include a variety of question types. All course materials may be content material.

Laboratory Activities:

Laboratory assignments are provided in Canvas. Carefully follow the instructions and submit the work in Canvas BEFORE the deadlines. Late work may NOT be accepted. Pay close attention to deadlines and work ahead of the schedule.

Exercise Portfolio:

The exercises included in the Schmidts text will be documented in a PowerPoint portfolio. For each exercise, choose one screen capture or jpg graphic to document its completion. Insert that into a PowerPoint called Portfolio4GY459. Label each slide with its identification, such as 2a: Connect to exercise data and turn on file extensions. Submit the portfolio PowerPoint in Canvas before or during the final week of class. Your work from this course should be retained in your professional portfolio.

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.


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 or newer for the documentation format. Entering the requested information correctly into the software with the Turabian setting will automatically generate the correctly formatted information.

Timely Completion of Assignments:

This is an intensive course and requires diligence to both reading assignments and laboratory work. Although set up on a weekly schedule, the progression of work should not be restrained by this schedule provided. Work at your own pace AHEAD of this schedule. Due dates should not play a major role in your work. Most if not all work is posted at the start of class, so that work can proceed and be completed in advance of the schedule provided.

Web Resources:

This class relies on external web resources that are not under the control of the professor. Thus, data may have changed, sites may go down for maintenance, or URLs may have changed or been totally removed. In the event of a problem, notify the professor. She is well aware of the tenuous nature of some of the questions and activities. You need not worry about these omissions.

Academic Honesty:

In a University community, true knowledge can be gained only through honest means. All academic dishonesty is expressly prohibited. This policy is applicable for campus and distance learning activities. Students who violate this Academic Honesty Policy will be subject to disciplinary actions which could range from a zero on an assignment to failure of the course; repeated offenses can result in dismissal from the university.

Academic dishonesty is defined to include any form of cheating or plagiarism. A discussion of the topic is set forth in the student handbook. Working and studying with classmates is 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. Academic dishonesty will receive a grade of zero for the assignment or F in the course depending on the severity of the offense and will be reported.  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. The Canvas plagiarism checker will be used to check for plagiarism. Thoroughly document your references and citations!

Title IX Statement:

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational institution that receives federal funding. Jacksonville State University does not tolerate sex discrimination of any kind including: sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking or other conduct that is addressed in the university’s “Title IX Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy.” This type of conduct may interfere with or limit an individual’s ability to benefit from or participate in JSU’s educational programs or activities. Anyone with knowledge of this type of conduct are asked to immediately report such incidents to the University Police Department at (256) 782-5050 or the Title IX Coordinator at (256) 782-5769. These incidents may also be reported to an instructor, faculty or staff member, who are required to notify the Title IX Coordinator. If a student wishes to keep the information confidential, the student may speak with a counselor at the Counseling Services office at (256) 782-5475 or a medical provider at Student Health Services (256) 782-5310. For more information about Title IX, please visit the JSU Title IX webpage at

Military-Connected Student Statement:

The Office of Veteran Services serves all active duty, guard, reserve, veteran, and dependent students at JSU. If you have any questions about Veteran Services please contact (256) 782-8838,, or at the physical location in the basement of Daugette Hall. If you are a student currently serving in the military (Active Duty, Guard, or Reserves) with the potential of being called to military service or training during the course of the semester, you are encouraged to contact your course instructor no later than the first week of class to discuss the class attendance policy. The instructor may make accommodations for this absence or suggest that you take the course at another time.


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

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 MS Teams 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. Canvas uses GEM for e-mail contacts.


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, Canvas 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.

GY 459 Spatial Data Collection and Management Syllabus* S20

DATE WEEK Lesson: TOPIC CHAPTERS J (Jensen)/S (Schmidts) Labs
January 8-14 1 1: GIS and Data Clearinghouses J1, J11, S1

pretest (non-credit)

1 Data Clearinghouses

January 15-21 2 2: Data Types and Sources J3, J5, J appendix, S2, S3 2 Data Types and Sources
January 22-28 3 3: Input and Output J10, S4, S7, S18
January 29-Feb. 4 4 Continued 3 Importing Data
February 5-11 5 4: Creating Data J6, S9, S10, S11, S12, S13, S14
February 12-19 6 Continued 4 Making Data
February 20-25 7 5: Registration J2, S5, S8
February 26-March 3 8 Continued 5 Coordinates and Registration
March 4-10 9 6: Data Quality J4, S6 6 Data Quality
March 11-17 10 7: Spatial Data Processing S15, S16, S17 7 Data Preprocessing
March 18-31 11 8: Data Communication J8, S19, S20, S22 8 Data Conversion and Testing
April 1-7 12 9: Data Application J7, J9, J12, S21
April 8-14 13 10: Providing Data S23, S24 9 Storage and Data Dictionaries
April 15-22 14 FINAL EXAMINATION   posttest (non-credit)

*Any major changes to this schedule will be announced. All grades are final at 11:55 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020.