Open Source GIS Course at UMD – the Syllabus

UMD provided me with enrollment numbers, and we are getting a pretty full class.  However, a few people on the “outside” have asked for a little more depth into what will be covered.  So, I put together a quick outline on each of our class meetings.

Keep in mind, in addition to the class meetings, there will be weekly discussions and short assignments.  Each class session is 2.5 hours long.  Those sessions colored orange are classes that I will be on the campus live (please note that this is tentative, and the dates may slide around a bit), giving the lecture and assisting students in the lab.  The other class sessions are a combination of online video lectures or in laboratory exercises.  For those with full time jobs, most of the material can be performed at home on you own devices, although being in the lab with the TA will be helpful.

Again, please feel free to email to get more information about signing up for the class.

Date Topic  Objectives
Desktop GIS with Open Source
June 6 Introducing open source GIS This is the introductory lecture that will outline the entire course, introduce students to one another, and also provide an introductory session on open source GIS, trends, and uses in different fields.
June 7 Desktop GIS: QGIS In this session, students are introduced to QGIS and will conduct basic vector GIS analysis.
June 13 Cartography with QGIS In this session, students will learn about the cartographic capabilities of QGIS and produce professional looking maps.
June 14 Raster analysis with QGIS In this session, students will perform raster based analysis with QGIS including spatial interpolation and multi-criteria habitat analysis.
Enterprise GIS with Open Source
June 20, 21 Introduction to PostGRES/PostGIS, Managing data and Users Students will learn what an enterprise GIS is, how to install Postgres, load vector and raster data, add logins, groups, roles, constraints, and views to control the user experience.
June 27 Working with Data in PostGRES/PostGIS Students will learn how to analyze data, edit data, create triggers, and perform multi-user editing.
June 28 Deploying the Enterprise GIS Students will perform server side GIS analysis, create external programs to access the enterprise GIS, and deploy a basic web map.
July 5 Introduction to GDAL Students will learn how to script with GDAL, and will create a number of geoprocessing tasks for raster and vector data, and will also create their own ETL tool and mass data conversion tool.  Students will use GDAL to interface with files as well as layers inside of Postgres
Week of July 5


Exam Because of the July 4 holiday, there will be no class on July 4.  However, students will be given a take home exam to create a small enterprise GIS project.
Spatial SQL, A Language for Geographers
July 11 Introduction to SQL Students will be introduced to SQL, its power, and uses.  This is a  general overarching view of SQL.
July 12 Traditional SQL queries Students will dive deeper into many different traditional SQL type queries.
July 18 Spatial SQL queries Students will extend their knowledge of traditional SQL to include spatial SQL.
July 19 Work assignments Students will work on two real-world SQL tasks, one related to traditional SQL queries and the other related to spatial SQL within the context of an emergency application.
Open Source Internet Map Server
July 25 Introduction to Geoserver Students are introduced to geoserver, and will learn how to configure, style, query, and deploy basic WMS and WFS data.
July 26 Serving data with Geoserver and Leaflet.js Students will extend their knowledge of geoserver to develop client-side web pages using leaflet.js to build a basic web mapping application.
Final Projects
August 1 Work on Final Projects Students will work on their final projects during this time.
August 2 Work on Final Projects Students will work on their final projects during this time.
August 8 Present Final Projects Lightning round style poster session of the class projects using open source GIS.
August 9 Course wrap up End of the year class party to discuss what we have learned and review the course.




1 thought on “Open Source GIS Course at UMD – the Syllabus

  1. Pingback: Some comments from my open source GIS class | gisadvising

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