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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIS fulfilled needs for course materials for teaching geographic information systems in the early 1990s, prior to the widespread availability of textbooks. The curriculum was developed and made available by NCGIA as a 1,000+ page document organized into three volumes—Introduction to GIS, Technical Issues in GIS, and Application Issues in GIS. Each volume includes sufficient material for a one-term course and contains 25 units of lecture notes with suggested discussion and examination questions. While the Curriculum was designed primarily for use as an instructional development tool, the materials have also been used as class notes for distribution to students and as a self-study guide. Between August 1990 and January 1995, over 1,300 copies of the Curriculum were distributed by the NCGIA to institutions in over 70 countries.

Cover page of Introduction to the Core Curriculum in GIS

Introduction to the Core Curriculum in GIS


This short narrative introduces the Core Curriculum in GIS and provides a historical overview of the Core Curriculum Project, including the later Core Curriculum in GIScience and Core Curriculum for Technical Programs. Appended to this description is an original pamphlet advertising the Core Curriculum in GIS.

Cover page of Unit 64 - Pilot Project

Unit 64 - Pilot Project


This is the fifth in a six-unit series on the design, purchase and implementation of a GIS. It describes the pilot project, which provides the first physical results from a GIS project. Pilot project formats, design and management are discussed and illustrated with Automated Mapping and Facilities Management (AM/FM) systems examples from the Public Service Company of Colorado and Salt River Project of Arizona.

Cover page of Unit 48 - Line Generalization

Unit 48 - Line Generalization


This unit focuses on line generalization as it relates to GIS and cartography. Techniques including simplification, smoothing, feature displacement, line enhancement and merging are described, and several linear simplification algorithms are summarized. Approaches for mathematically evaluating simplification are outlined, and justifications for simplifying linear data are discussed.

Cover page of Unit 46 - Managing Error

Unit 46 - Managing Error


This unit discusses several aspects of managing error in spatial databases. It begins with a hypothetical example of a routing problem that is used to demonstrate the process of error analysis and sensitivity analysis in a modeling exercise. Sources of artifacts in raster and vector data, and strategies to avoid them, are presented, and methods for storing accuracy information in a database are discussed.

Cover page of Unit 19 - Generating Complex Products

Unit 19 - Generating Complex Products


This unit seeks to demonstrate the problem of defining GIS products in the real world. Issues with regard to the difficulty of defining procedures for complex sets of operations are explored, including management demands, data availability and quality problems, and complexity of decision rules.

Cover page of Unit 74 - Knowledge Based Techniques

Unit 74 - Knowledge Based Techniques


This unit introduces knowledge based techniques for addressing ill-structured problems. It describes how a knowledge base may be constructed, alternative methods for representing knowledge in a database, search mechanisms, and machine inference to create new knowledge. Each is illustrated with GIS-related examples.

Cover page of Unit 60 - System Planning Overview

Unit 60 - System Planning Overview


This is the first in a six-unit series on the design, purchase and implementation of a GIS. It outlines several steps that are covered in this and subsequent units: problem recognition and technological awareness, developing management support, project definition, system evaluation and system implementation. The first two are covered in this unit, illustrated with an example of a municipal Automated Mapping and Facilities Management (AM/FM) project in Newport Beach, California.

Cover page of Unit 55 - Facilities Management (AM/FM)

Unit 55 - Facilities Management (AM/FM)


This unit considers Automated Mapping and Facilities Management (AM/FM) as an influential, well organized GIS application area. It explains how two traditional concepts—automated mapping systems and facilities management systems—are combined to provide a geographically referenced inventory of an organization’s facilities. Typical characteristics, functionality and benefits of AM/FM are illustrated with an example from the Eastern Municipal Water District of Riverside County, California.

Cover page of Unit 67 - Implementation Issues

Unit 67 - Implementation Issues


This unit discusses common issues that arise when an organization acquires and implements a GIS. It describes potential problems within organizations such as overemphasis on technology, rigid work patterns, inflexibility, inappropriate decision-making procedures, staffing and assignment of responsibilities. The conclusion presents strategies to facilitate success.

Cover page of Unit 12 - Relationships Among Spatial Objects

Unit 12 - Relationships Among Spatial Objects


This final unit in the spatial databases module looks at the complex issue of relationships and how they can be coded. The important concept of planar enforcement, introduced here, is referred to several times in later units.