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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 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 148 - World Wide Web Basics

Unit 148 - World Wide Web Basics

(2000)

This unit explains the characteristics and the working principles of the World Wide Web as the most important protocol of the Internet. Topics covered in this unit include characteristics of the World Wide Web; using the World Wide Web for the dissemination of information on the Internet; and using the World Wide Web for the retrieval of information from the Internet.

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 133 - Web GIS

Unit 133 - Web GIS

(2000)

This unit is an overview of how GIS are being developed to run within the Internet and Worldwide Web, as well as within private intranets. Included is a discussion of strategies for developing GIS functionality within client-server networks. The overview discusses the rationale behind these strategies, but does not provide programming solutions. Nor does it address the details of designing a user interface for a Web GIS application.

Cover page of Unit 051 - Information Organization and Data Structure

Unit 051 - Information Organization and Data Structure

(2000)

This unit presents an overview of the terminology and concepts pertaining to information organization and data structure in the context of information science and management. The aim is to provide a general but articulate introduction to the principles and methods of information organization, with special reference to geographic information, that serves as a prerequisite for more advanced studies of data models and database in subsequent units.

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 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 064 - Representing Networks

Unit 064 - Representing Networks

(2000)

This unit covers topics including the basic elements of a network; how networks are represented; commonly used shortest path algorithms; and common application areas in which networks are used.