GY208 Map Reading Spring 2018

GY208 001 21001

Professor: Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
Office: 205 Martin Hall
Office Hours: Wednesday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., by appointment and through Blackboard IM, Blackboard Virtual Office Hours, or AOL IM

E-Mail Address: or
Telephone: (256) 782-8063 (contact me by E-MAIL)

Text: No text is required. Internet and Blackboard resources will be used.

Recommended Text: A. Jon Kimerling, Aileen R. Buckley, Phillip C. Muehrcke, Juliana O. Muehrcke, Map Use: Reading Analysis Interpretation, Eighth Edition 8th Edition, ESRI Press, 2016, 978-1589484429

Other REQUIRED materials and equipment:

Homepages: The class homepages are at The web address of the Distance Learning Site is: Dr. M. H. Hill's homepage is at This site has links to other web sites. If the part of the URL becomes inactive, replace with and see if that site is functioning.

Learning Outcomes: The student will be able to:

  1. identify, use, and interpret different map and graph types
  2. convert and use scale
  3. find locations with common coordinate systems
  4. identify map projections and properties
  5. discuss the distinctions between raster and vector map analyses
  6. discuss the strengths and weaknesses of maps
  7. describe map changes through time

Blackboard Gradebook: Be sure to check My Grades to make sure that scores are officially recorded. Seeing a score at the top of a test when you finish does not mean that you have received this credit, because scores are reported there without consideration of the clock. Only numbers showing in the gradebook count. Blackboard reports all time overruns and crashes as either ! or icons. These scores count as 0 points. All Blackboard scores are official and final. When submitting work, allow for transmission time!

DUE DATES and Other Important Instructions: A due date is defined as the last calendar day for completion of an assignment. This is the last date the work will be accepted. Submission deadlines are at 11:55 p.m. on the due date. Work will be available well in advance of the due dates, so complete the work on a timely basis. On-line classes require careful time management, because the absence of regular classroom meetings does not provide a structured and regimented forum. Self-pace yourself through the material allowing sufficient flexibility and the necessary time for review if more difficult material is encountered. Distance education students need to be self-motivated learners eager to advance their knowledge and committed to their education.

Blackboard is incapable of calculating or computing any course points totals that are relevant to your course grade. Any "Total" column displayed in your gradebook is worthless information.

The Respondus lockdown browser is incompatible with this course. The purpose of a lockdown browser is to prevent the opening of other windows while taking an exam. A lockdown browser must NOT be used in this course, because many activities require multiple window multitasking. Likewise, tablets should not be used to open the testing instruments. Use reliable Internet connections and acceptable browsers to avoid wasting test attempts.

Mandatory Assignments: Completion of a post-test is required. This will be limited to one attempt. Failure to complete a post-test will result in grade reduction as indicated in Blackboard.

Grading: Lesson percentages will count 50%. The comprehensive final exam will count 40%. The book project will count 10%. Guaranteed percentage grades will be: above 90% A; 80-90% B; 70-80% C; 60-70% D; below 60% F. Grades are rounded to .01 or hundredths. Deadline for completion of the course is 11:55 p.m. Central Time (time in Jacksonville), Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

"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."

E-mail contact: All e-mail contacts will be through the JSU GEM address. If this is not your preferred address, be sure to place a FORWARD on this GEM account by logging in to your GEM address and completing the forward option. Send yourself a test e-mail at your GEM address to be certain that your forward is functional.

Lessons: Each lesson consists of instructional materials and contains a question bank. These question banks should be researched and completed before the lesson due date. The questions are not timed and repeatedly accessible until submitted. Point scores will be available upon submission, and after the deadline, the responses will become available. Grading will use the percentage for each lesson, and each lesson will contain some bonus points.

Final exam: The final exam is comprehensive and will consist of a randomly generated set of questions from pools from the question banks and similar computations or examples. For example, a different map for latitude and longitude coordinates might be used. The final exam can be taken three times (set for four attempts). Time will be limited, to reduce open access to resources. The highest percentage of the four possible attempts will count.

Book project: A paper based upon eleven questions about one book from a list of selected books by Mark Monmonier counts as 10% of the grade. Grammar, spelling, thoroughness, insight, and format are all factors included in the grade. Using meaningless phrases such as there is/are will result in point reductions.

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, notify the professor when additional time was needed on an attempt. Allow for e-mail response time. The additional time will be permitted, but cannot be extended after deadlines. By clicking on the ! or grade, both student and faculty can view these reports and verify completion within the appropriate time limits. The highest score within the appropriate time limit will be used.

Additional Comments: No individual extra credit papers, projects, or activities will be allowed. Bonus points are embedded within the course. Use your time and energy to improve the scores on your work.

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. 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.

Questions or problems: Please contact the professor. Asking questions is an extremely important part of the learning process. For course management questions, review the syllabus. Many of the questions are answered in this document. For additional assistance, send an e-mail and/or suggest a time for a Blackboard IM conference. Be sure to have your headset available.

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 e-mails or posting to the Announcements area.

Class Schedule: Use the outline provided to complete the assigned readings and activities. Note that a tentative schedule is given. It is your responsibility to complete the assignments BEFORE the deadlines. You may complete the work ahead of schedule, but remember that the completion dates and times are FIRMLY SET! All work must be completed by 11:55 p.m. Central Time, Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Course Outline and Due Dates: Work ahead and follow the indicated order for greatest efficiency and success! S18

lesson date topic
1 January 9-15 maps
2 January 16-22 types of maps
3 January 23-29 scale and measurement
4 January 30-February 5 location
5 February 6-12 projections
6 February 13-19 navigation and wayfinding
7 February 20-26 the third dimension
8 February 27-March 5 remote sensing
9 March 6-12 GIS
10 March 13-26 interactive mapping
11 March 27-April 2 map messages
13 April 10-16 graphs
final April 17-23 final exam

All work must be completed by 11:55 p.m. Central Time (time at JSU), Tuesday, April 24, 2018.