Environmental GIS: City Planning (CP 6541)

Instructor: Dr. Clio Andris


GIS was originally developed to support several types of environmental applications. While the range of applications for this technology has expanded recently, environmental planning and management still present some of the most interesting and powerful GIS applications. Environmental systems are inherently spatial in nature and GIS provides the capability to address issues of coincident location, proximity, and connectivity.

Students will learn about GIS functions and data sources used in environmental applications. The course labs often include use Esri’s Spatial Analyst, as well as automated modeling techniques using ArcMap and R Studio.

Special attention is paid to environmental modeling decisions and considerations—as changes in the input decisions affect results. Special attention is also paid to strong environmental data visualization and using map design for persuasion.

 Course Objectives

  1. Problem solving techniques for several critical environmental issues that concern urban and regional planners
  2. Finding efficient ways of completing geoprocessing tasks
  3. Knowing the major sources of data for environmental analysis
  4. Making decisions about land suitability for particular activities and for siting projects
  5. Testing hypothesis using simulation models
  6. Conducting visualization and topographical analysis
  7. Understanding error in data conversion
  8. Understanding the basics of hydrology and the use of GIS is hydrological analysis
  9. Conducting basic raster processing for land cover analysis


Tu 8-18Introduction to Course, Env. GIS Modeling in Action
Th 8-20Lab 1: Skills Review: Boko Haram
Tu 8-25Dasymetric Modeling for Environmental Data
Th 8-27Lab 2: Dasymetric Modeling with Land Cover/Land Use
Tu 9-1Error in Raster Vector ConversionReading 1: Dasymetric Modeling
Th 9-3Lab 3: Raster / Vector Conversion
Tu 9-8Activity: GIS/Carto in Environmental Impact Statements
Th 9-10Group EIS presentations
Tu 9-15Interpolation Methods for Environmental DataReading 2: Interpolation
Th 9-17Lab 4: Interpolation and Validation of Weather Events
Tu 9-22Suitability / Capability IReading 3: Site Suitability Food
Th 9-24Lab 5: Vegetation Spread and Capability
Tu 9-29Suitability / Capability II
Th 10-1Lab 6: Your Suitability/Capability Model
Tu 10-6Raster Analysis I: Local Focal Zonal and Global Operations Reading 4: Evacuation
Th 10-8Lab 6 cont.: Your Suitability/Capability Model 
Tu 10-13Raster Analysis II: Filters and Processing 
Th 10-15Lab 7: Crop Cover Change
Tu 10-20VGI in Environmental GIS & Midterm Review (I will answer questions)Reading 5: Viticulture
Tu 10-27Hydrological ModelingReading 6: Toxic Releases
Th 10-29Lab 8: Trick or Treat Network Routing
Tu 11-3Election Day – Lab 8 help
Th 11-5Lab 9: Hydrology and Water Systems
Tu 11-10Terrain Modeling and CostReading 7: Environmental Exposure
Th 11-12Lab 10: Terrain & ArcScene
Tu 11-17Guest Lecture: Brian Brainerd, Real-World Environmental GIS: City of SavannahReading 8: Discharge Hydrograph
Th 11-19Lab 11: Cost Distance and Movement  
Tu 11-24Thanksgiving break 
Th 11-26Thanksgiving break 
Tu 12- 1Course Wrap Up: Q and A about GIS