Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

By the mid-1990s, interest was growing in geographic information science as a discipline based on fundamental geographic concepts that could engage student learning from early childhood to a life-time interest in the infrastructural and intellectual developments required for advances in the modeling of complex environmental and social processes. Seeking to accommodate this need, NCGIA adopted a new approach for a revised core curriculum. It was organized around four major themes:

(1) “Fundamental Geographic Concepts for GIS"—enumerating the concepts and describing their role in human cognition;

(2)"Implementing Geographic Concepts in GIS"—discussing the implementation and handling of geographic concepts in digital computers;

(3) "Geographic Information Technology in Society"—examining the management of these technologies, their implications for society, and the social context in which they are used; and

(4) "Application Areas and Case Studies"—critically examining how GIS is used in various applications.

Each of these four groupings consisted of self-contained teaching units based on a one-hour lecture format of approximately 7 pages of point-form text, with inline sketches and graphics. By placing the materials on-line, the potential existed for instructors or subsidiary project teams to develop supporting structures (e.g., hypertext) to organize the lecture notes and other on-line materials into interactive tutorial systems.

Cover page of Introduction to the Core Curriculum in GIScience

Introduction to the Core Curriculum in GIScience

(2015)

This introduction provides context to the Core Curriculum in GIScience, including its design philosophy, organization of core concepts, editorial procedure, a development timetable, list of original developers and editorial notes. Note that hyperlinks are active only from the downloaded PDF document.

Cover page of Outline of the Core Curriculum in GIScience

Outline of the Core Curriculum in GIScience

(2015)

This outline gives an overview of the units that comprise the Core Curriculum in GIScience, along with hyperlinks to each. Note that hyperlinks are active only from the downloaded PDF document. 

Cover page of Unit 187 - Managing Uncertainty in GIS

Unit 187 - Managing Uncertainty in GIS

(2000)

This unit outlines the issues behind the uncertainty debate; a strategy for managing uncertainty in GIS; approaches to uncertainty reduction and absorption; and future directions in uncertainty management.

Cover page of Unit 127 - Spatial Decision Support Systems

Unit 127 - Spatial Decision Support Systems

(2000)

This unit focuses on the concept of Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS). It covers the major characteristics of spatial decision problems; the decision-making process; a definition of SDSS; principles of SDSS; the dialog, data, model (DDM) paradigm; and technologies for developing SDSS.

Cover page of Unit 055 - Rasters

Unit 055 - Rasters

(2000)

This unit covers topics including the definition of raster; raster layers, how they are sampled from reality and how they represent reality; geometry and topology of rasters and edge effects on rasters; other forms of rasters including hexagonal and curved surfaces; run length encoding; and issues about working with rasters.

Cover page of Unit  045 - Non-Spatial Database Models

Unit  045 - Non-Spatial Database Models

(2000)

This unit introduces the terms and concepts needed to understand non-spatial databases and their underlying data models, including a motivation of the need for database management systems; an overview of database terminology; and a description of non-spatial data models.

Cover page of Unit 135 - Geographic Information Technologies in Society

Unit 135 - Geographic Information Technologies in Society

(2000)

This unit describes contexts for GI Technologies; the use of GI technologies in society; the British Columbia case study; and key issues.

Cover page of Unit 131 - Multimedia and Virtual Reality

Unit 131 - Multimedia and Virtual Reality

(2000)

This unit presents an introduction to multimedia and virtual reality as they relate to GIS, including definitions, technological issues, computer science aspects, user interface considerations, and applications.

Cover page of Unit 188 - Artificial Neural Networks for Spatial Data Analysis

Unit 188 - Artificial Neural Networks for Spatial Data Analysis

(2000)

This unit presents a definition of artificial neural networks (ANN); describes different types of ANN and their applications in geography and spatial analysis; explains differences between ANN and AI and between ANN and statistics; and describes how to apply a supervised ANN in model classification and function estimation problems.

Cover page of Unit 037 - Fundamentals of Data Storage

Unit 037 - Fundamentals of Data Storage

(2000)

This unit introduces the concepts and terms needed to understand storage of GIS data in a computer system, including the weaknesses of a discrete data model for representing the real world; an overview of data storage types and terminology; and a description of data storage issues.