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Computing and Information Science Courses Online

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SIE 509 - Overview

Principles of Geographic Information Systems

Connie Holden
Room 134 Boardman Hall

Course Objectives

This course provides an introduction to the basic components and principles of geographic information systems and practical experience in the use of these systems. Geographic information systems are systems used to represent observations and information about our environment. The lecture and reading component provides a background on the elements of geographic information systems and the organization of such systems. As outcomes students should be familiar with characteristics of spatial data, be able to identify and describe differences among data models; understand typical GIS operations, and understand assessment and implications of spatial data quality.

A. Class Sessions

B. Course Materials

TEXT:  GIS Fundamentals (5th Edition) by Paul Bolstad, 2016.

ISBN 978-1-50669-587-7.  This is available from the University Bookstore, but it is less expensive online.

Softcover (about $38) and digital versions ($22) are available from XanEdu, from a search of their website. If you have questions, contact Natalie Danner,

Additional readings may be assigned.

 SOFTWARE:  Students need access to ArcGIS 10.x.  This requires a Windows operating system (8.1 or higher).  An access code for a student license will be provided

Lab Exercises


The project should be implemented using GIS software. The project can be related to your research, or be on another topic of interest.

Project deliverables:


There are two take-home exams


Plus and minus grading will be used.

C. Instructor Office Hours & Discussion Sessions

D. University of Maine Policy Statements

For further reference, consult Required Syllabus Statements (, the University of Maine Student Handbook ( and
the UMS Student Conduct Code (

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Image Description: Creative Commons License

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Contact Information

Computing and Information Science Courses Online
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System