GOG 422/522 GIS for Social Sciences

The objective of this course is to apply GIS techniques on social sciences. Specific goals are: (1) to provide students with an understanding of how GIS can be applied in social sciences; (2) to familiarize students with advanced GIS and modeling techniques; (3) to provide students with hands-on experience in working with various data sources through a project related to their own research interest. Applications spread from typical themes in urban and regional analysis (e.g., trade area analysis, regional growth patterns, urban land use and transportation) to issues related to crime and health analyses. It also covers common tasks (e.g., distance and travel time estimation, spatial smoothing and interpolation, accessibility measures) and major issues (e.g., modifiable areal unit problem, rate estimate of rare events in small population, spatial autocorrelation) that are encountered in spatial analysis. Computer exercises with ArcGIS and R are designed to help students gain hands-on experience on the topics presented in lectures. Students are required to present and discuss assigned readings and develop an individual research project that applies geospatial methods in geographical problem solving. Prerequisites: A GOG 496/A PLN456, or equivalent. Students should have some basic GIS and statistical knowledge equivalent to one introductory GIS course and one elementary statistical course.