University of Colorado at Boulder


Dept Theme

Geographic Information Science

GIS, cartography, and remote sensing

Geographers have an ongoing concern with the acquisition, manipulation, and representation of spatial data. The widespread adoption of digital technology coupled with management of very large spatial data sets has led to the development of Geographic Information Science. Particularly with respect to digital information, the nature of geographical data that vary with scale, time, and spectral characteristics presents unique problems for geographers and environmental scientists. In our world of massive amounts of information, geographers use remote sensing methods for collecting and integrating geographical data. They utilize cartography and geographic information systems to uncover spatial patterns and trends, to reconstruct past environmental conditions and to predict future scenarios. The use of such methods requires expertise not covered in human and physical geography concentrations. Conceptually, the societal, political and ethical implications of geographic information in policy and decision-making are only beginning to be understood, and this forms an important component of study in geographic information science. The dissemination of geographic knowledge at all levels of education forms another important component of this concentration.

Faculty teaching and/or performing research in geographic information science

GIS; Cartographic Generalization; Multi-Scale Databases GIScience
GIScience, uncertainty modeling, small area estimation, cartographic pattern recognition GIScience
Urban Geography, Medical Geography, Spatial Statistics, GIScience Human

Graduate Students in geographic information science

11 students total. TIP: To sort by more than one column, hold down the shift key while clicking an additional column header.

Name Degree     Specialties Advisor
Anderson-Tarver, Christopher Ph.D. GIS Science Buttenfield
Cunningham, Angela Ph.D. landscape and historiography Spielman
Ghandehari, Mehran Ph.D. GIScience Buttenfield
Hardin, Andrew M.A. remote sensing; GIS; programming Spielman
Jochem, Warren Ph.D. GIS; disease ecology & spatial epidemiology Root
Maclaurin, Galen Ph.D. Spatial & temporal modeling; GIS; remote sensing; spatial statistics; demographic modeling Leyk
Norlund, Petra Ph.D. Geographic Information Science Leyk
Stum, Alexander Ph.D. spatial predictive model, GIS Leyk
Tuccillo, Joseph M.A. land-use change; spatial demography; sustainable urbanism; GIScience Spielman
Yilmaz, Bunyamin M.A. watershed management; avalanche control Williams
Zoraghein, Hamidreza Ph.D. GIScience; spatial statistics; small area estimation Leyk

GEOG courses related to geographic information science.

Caution: These lists are incomplete.

Spring 2015

Num Num Sect Title Hrs   Instructor
3053 Cartographic Design 4 Smith
4103 Intro to Geographic Information Science 4 Anderson-Tarver
5113 001 Seminar - GIS 3 Buttenfield


Spring 2014

Num Num Sect Title Hrs   Instructor
3053 Cartographic Design 4 Smith
4103 5103 Intro to Geographic Information Science 4 Buttenfield
4110 5100 Special Topics: Advanced Remote Sensing 4 Abdalati
4303 5303 GIS Programming for Spatial Analysis 4 Leyk
5113 001 Seminar - GIS 3 Leyk


Undergrad Courses Applicable to a Concentration in Geographic Information Science

1000- and 2000-level courses in physical and human geography are prerequisites to all upper-division courses listed below. Additional prerequisites may be listed or permission of instructor required.  

GEOG 2053  Mapping a Changing World 
GEOG 3023  Statistics for Earth Sciences 
GEOG 3053  Cartography: Visualization and Information Design (Restricted to Jr/Sr GEOG/ENVS major) 
GEOG 3093  Geographic Interpretation of Aerial Photographs 
GEOG 4023  Intro to Quantitative Methods in Human Geography (Prereq: GEOG 3023 or equivalent) 
GEOG 4043  Cartography 2: Interactive and Multimedia Mapping  (Prereq: GEOG 3053)  
GEOG 4083  Mapping from Remotely Sensed Imagery (Prereq: GEOG 3093, 4093 or equivalent) 
GEOG 4093  Remote Sensing of the Environment  
GEOG 4103  Introduction to Geographic Information Science (Prereq: GEOG 2053, 3053 or equivalent) 
GEOG 4160  Teaching Geography 
GEOG 4203  Geographic Information Science: Modeling Applications 2 (Prereq: GEOG 4103/5103) 
GEOG 4173  Research Seminar** (Restricted to Sr GEOG/ENVS major) 
GEOG 4303  Geographic Information Science: Programming  (Prereq: 4103 or 5103) 
GEOG 4383  Methods of Vegetation Analysis (Prereq or Coreq: GEOG 4371) 
GEOG 4983  Field Problems  (Restricted to Jr/Sr Geography major)   

**core curriculum course 


Undergrad Courses in other Departments Related to Geographic Information Science

Caution: These courses do not count as hours in the Geography Major. 
Check with the appropriate department for the prerequisites for these courses. 

CSCI   1200   Introduction. to Programming 1 
ENVD   4152   Computer Graphic Applications 
MATH   4270   Computer Geometry  

Geographical Information Systems: 
CSCI   1200   Introduction. to Programming 1 
CSCI   3287   Database & Information. Systems  

Remote Sensing:  
CSCI   1200   Introduction. to Programming  
CVEN   3032   Photogrammetry  
MATH   1300   Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1** 
MATH   2300   Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2**  
MATH   2400   Analytic Geometry and Calculus 3** 

Geography Education
COMM  1300   Public Speaking  
CSCI   1200   Introduction to Programming  
EDUC   ****    Courses for elementary and secondary social studies certification 

**core curriculum course 

Selected Publications by Faculty and Graduate Students associated with geographic information science


 Stefan Leyk

 Seth Spielman

Spielman, S.E. and Yoo, E-H. (2009). The Spatial Dimensions of Neighborhood Effects. Social Science and Medicine, 68(6).

Erdemir, E. T., Batta R., Spielman S. E., Rogerson P., et. al. (2008). Optimization of aeromedical base locations in New Mexico. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40(3) .

Spielman, S.E. and Thill, J.C. (2008). Social Area Analysis, Data Mining, and GIS. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems, 32(2) .

Spielman, S. E. (2006). Appropriate use of the K-function in Urban Environments (Letter). American Journal of Public Health, 96(2).

Spielman, S.E., Golembeski, C.A., Northridge, M.E., et al. (2006). Interdisciplinary Planning for Healthier Communities: Findings from the Harlem Children's Zone Asthma Initiative. Journal of the American Planning Association, 72(1). .

Grad Students

News and Events related to geographic information science