GY208 Map Reading Spring 2020

GY208 001 22785

Professor: Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
Office: 205 Martin Hall
Office Hours: by appointment and through Skype for Business

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


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: (SEE equipment information BELOW)

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. The course materials and assignments are all available at the start of the course, 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), Thursday, April 23, 2020

"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.

Students with Disabilities Statement: Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with Disability Support Services DSS and the instructor, as early in the semester as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Disability Support Services is located in 139 Daugette Hall or students can call or email at (256) 782.8380,

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 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.

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.

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 Skype for Business 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 and the class shell on Blackboard to complete the assigned readings and activities. All lessons are available at the start of the course. You should work ahead of this schedule, because the tentative schedule shows only the closing dates. This is a final opportunity deadline, not the date for work to begin. Extra wiggle room is provided at the beginning, so work bunches near the end on the schedule. Get started right away and get ahead for the best learning experience. It is your responsibility to complete the assignments BEFORE the deadlines. Remember that the completion dates and times are FIRMLY SET! All work must be completed by 11:55 p.m. Central Time, Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Course Outline and Due Dates: Work ahead and follow the indicated order for greatest efficiency and success! S20

lesson date topic
0 January 9 active participation required
1 January 14 maps
2 January 21 types of maps
3 January 28 scale and measurement
4 February 4 location
5 February  11 projections
6 February 19 navigation and wayfinding
7 February 25 the third dimension
8 March 3 remote sensing
9 March 10 GIS
10 March 17 interactive mapping
11 March 31 map messages
13 April 14 graphs
final April 22 final exam

All work must be completed by 11:55 p.m. Central Time (time at JSU), Thursday, April 23, 2020.