Update 6/10/2022

Class Meetings: MW 2:10 – 4:00: 207 Science Center (GIS Lab)

Instructor: Dr. John Krygier
Office: Schimmel-Conrades Science Center 206
Office Hours: MWF 11:00-2 or email me for other times |

Course Description

Geography 112 is about making maps using a diversity of technologies. The course reviews map design, production, and visualization in the context of geographic information systems (GIS) software. The core of this course is the semester-long project: students will locate data, process the data so it can be mapped in ArcGIS Pro (GIS and mapping software), and design and produce a series of maps based on the data. Students will learn to construct basic HTML pages for the project, and learn ArcGIS Online to provide access to their maps. Work on the project is informed by lectures focusing on the concepts, frameworks, and technical issues of map design, production, and visualization.

Course Prerequisites: none

Learning Goals

  1. Technological competence: you are functional with a diversity of technologies, software, moving data from one form to another, and learning how to solve problems.
  2. Methodological competence: Given an understanding of the technologies, you understand the process for addressing questions and generating understanding in ES and Geography
  3. Mapping competence: Understand and be able to use guidelines for creating effective maps and using GIS to effectively communicate and understand.
  4. Critical competence: Understand mapping (and all geospatial technologies) as powerful and complex (eg., propositions rather than representations), and open to a range of insights from perspectives such as feminism and indigenous theory.


Making Maps (3rd edition, 2016) by John Krygier and Denis Wood was written for this course and is based on the lectures I developed for mapping courses at OWU. I don’t plan to spend too much time lecturing, but will review each of the chapters as they correspond with key steps in the mapping process we’ll engage in over the semester. I’ll ask students to refer to Making Maps when evaluating the project (mid-term and final evaluation). A few other key readings are linked to the schedule and will be discussed over the semester.

Lab Exercises

The individual lab exercises in Geography 112 build step by step into a final course project. It is important that you attend class when the exercises are explained, as I will often lead you through the steps necessary to complete the exercise. Take advantage of the in-class work time, as I can help you with the myriad of problems and glitches that you are bound to run into. It is also important to complete the exercises on time, as new exercises often depend on the completion of the previous exercise. A significant part of your grade on individual exercises is determined by completing the exercise on time.

Each student will keep a dated blog for the course, containing documentation of all work pertaining to the lab project. This Lab Blog will contain comments on problems and solutions you run into while working on lab exercises and documentation of work you are asked to complete in particular exercises (for example, some exercises ask you to define terms, or review a WWW site). The content on the blog will be evaluated and used to determine your final project grade

Computer Skills

Students in Geography 112 will acquire basic competence in the meh Windows operating system, Excel spreadsheet, ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online software, and HTML. This course will provide basic instruction in all of these software applications, but students will be expected to take initiative to learn additional details about the software and to solve problems as they arise. Students should expect to spend time outside of scheduled hours to complete the course project although I have included in-class time to work on the project. The GIS and Mapping Lab is open between 7 am and 7 pm Monday through Friday. Students in Geography 112 will be provided with access to the Lab evenings and weekends.


  • 2 Project Evaluations (Labs 6 & 10) @ 100 pts each = 200 pts.
  • Lab Exercises = 700 pts total
    • Late Exercises: deduct 15% each day late.
  • Comments, questions, and notes on Deep Map Thoughts readings (share with me prior to discussion) = 50 pts. each
  • Participation and effort and improvement will be rewarded.

Other Rules and Regulations

  • Let me know ahead of time if you are going to miss a lecture or exercise due date.
  • Let me know if you are having issues with your computer in the Lab.

Writing Option

Writing options are often a pain in the ass for all involved, as it takes diligence and working ahead on your part. Alas, if you are interested in adding a writing option to Geography 112, please contact me by the end of the first week of classes. If I agree to supervise a writing option for the class, a written 1-page proposal for a writing project is due by the end of the third week of classes. A draft of your writing option work is due by the end of the eighth week of classes. The final draft of your writing option work is due by the end of the fourteenth week of classes.

Academic Accommodations

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protections for persons with disabilities. Among other things, the legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact Disability Services in Corns 315 or call 740.368.3925 to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations. If you are registered with Disability Services and have a current letter requesting reasonable accommodations, please contact your instructor as early in the semester as possible to discuss how the accommodations will be applied in the course. For more information, consult the Disabilities Services website.”