University of Colorado at Boulder


Undergrad Area of Concentration

Geographic Information Science

You may choose to follow a general geography major/minor or choose to concentrate your studies in one of four optional tracks, such as 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.

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 

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


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


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

News and Events related to geographic information science