Oswald Building 343

Section J001 – TR 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Instructor: Ryan Kelly, Associate Professor of Geography & GIS
Office: 237 Moloney Building 
Telephone: 246-6328 or extension 56328 on campus 
Office Hours:
MW 1:00PM – 2:00PM, TR 12:00PM – 1:00PM

Table of Contents for Web Syllabus


Course Materials:


There is no textbook required for this course. There are a series of documents which you will need to download, print and insert into a binder. You will also need the following items for GIS 110:


  • a good calculator
  • a clipboard
  • a USB flash drive with 500MB of storage space
  • good walking shoes






This course is an introduction to spatial analysis and the interpretation of map data. The course will introduce remote sensing techniques, GPS, the interpretation of remotely sensed imagery for environmental, commercial and/or demographic purposes, and the applications of GIS in both the public and private sector. Students will receive a cursory introduction to GIS software. GIS 110 is a prerequisite for GIS 120 and is a required course for those wishing to attain the Certificate in GIS Technology. GIS 110 is a technical elective for the Environmental Science Technology Degree.

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Attendance …………………….…………………….…….. 10%

GPS Terminology and Metric Conversion Quiz … 10%

Trimble GPS Field Project #1…………………..…… 10%

Trimble GPS Field Project #2.……………....….…...10%

Trimble GPS Field Project #3……………………..… 15%

Field Exam with the GPS……………………………….. 20%

Remote Sensing Assignment………...…………….… 10%

Semester Exam………………………………………..…. 15%

This is a course largely designed on skill acquisition and maximization of hands-on usage of the software and hardware. Your active participation is necessary if you plan to succeed.


AttendanceAttendance is required at all field sessions, instructor demos and all field project dates. If you are more than 10 minutes late for any of the above you will be counted as absent. Attendance points will also be forfeited should you elect to leave early without a valid reason and/or failing to inform the instructor of your early departure. Do not spend the field session goofing off!


Field Projects – There will be three field projects this semester, all of which are to be completed and evaluated in team fashion. You are expected to pull your weight and participate in the development of your data dictionaries, data collection and post-processing of data. The instructor recognizes that extenuating factors often cause loss of data, but you should make every effort to ensure your data is as accurate as the conditions allow, especially as you become more comfortable with the GPS equipment.


Field Exam – Every student will be required to have a 1-on-1 field exam with the instructor. This will need to be scheduled outside of regularly scheduled class time with the instructor and will last approximately 45 minutes. Field exams will be held starting in mid-October through mid-November and will be held on the BCTC campus or its environs.


Remote Sensing Project – The RMS project will be an out-of-class assignment. Students are encouraged to collaborate on this exercise but you are responsible for completing and handing in your own work.


Semester Exam – The semester exam will encompass (but not be limited to) terminology used with GPS, questions about the functionality of the GPS, remote sensing techniques, bandwidths and their appropriate usage in aerial photographic interpretation. The format of the exam is at the discretion of the instructor.


The grading scale will be the standard grading system: 90-100 (A), 80-89 (B), 70-79 (C), 60-69 (D), below 60 (E). I do not issue a + or - with your final grade. There is no final exam for the course

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Attendance is paramount in this course, as the vast majority of this course revolves around field sessions that due to logistics, equipment issues and general time constraints will be impossible to make up and will have an ill-effect on your grade. I will be taking attendance on all dates in which we have a field session, be it an equipment demonstration, a scheduled field exercise, or a guest speaker. All students are granted one free unexcused absence on a field session date; beyond that any absences on a field session date will have to be documented.


Make-up work can only be issued if you have a documented medical excuse, a death in the family, or are part of a KCTCS sanctioned activity. Make-up work with regards to field projects will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Students should be forewarned that making up a field project differs from making up a missed exam or quiz. Due to the time commitment necessary to complete a field project the instructor will only grant a make-up of a field project under extraordinary circumstances that, per the guidelines listed above, are legitimate and can be documented.


The final date, per the policy of the institution, from which you may withdraw from any class without the consent of the instructor and receive a grade of “W”, is Wednesday, October 13, 2010. You may, with my consent, withdraw from the course at any time until the final day of classes. You need not provide me with an excuse as to why you have elected to withdraw. I will not issue an incomplete (I) for this course.

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1.     The GPS field sessions will require extensive time spent outdoors on your feet. Much walking is required. Please dress appropriately for the elements and wear shoes in which you can walk.


2.     The field exercises are considered lab activities and may necessitate time spent outside of the scheduled 75-minute class period. Please factor this requirement into your schedule. I am aware most of you have family and work commitments outside of class, but you must allow for some flexibility.


3.     A sizeable portion of this course is taught outdoors, and hence inclement weather may require unforeseen changes of our scheduled curriculum. Please remain flexible as the instructor may have to alter or cancel class (es) and/or assignments in accordance to the weather. The instructor reserves the right to delete an exercise(s) from the curriculum if weather conditions dictate.


4.     You will be handling sophisticated GPS and computer equipment in this course. Please do not damage the Trimble GPS units for they are very expensive. If you damage any of these units through carelessness or malice, you may be required to reimburse Bluegrass Community & Technical College for the entire cost of the damaged property. Failure to pay for lost and/or damaged equipment will result in a failing grade for the course and possible legal action.




Thursday, August 19 – Course Introduction

Tuesday, August 24 – Introduction to Global Positioning Systems

Thursday, August 26 – Map Scale, Scale Conversions and Projections

Tuesday, August 31 – Pathfinder Office Software – Quick Plan, Coordinates and Datum

Thursday, September 2 – Pathfinder Office Software – Creating a Data Dictionary

Tuesday, September 7 – Instructor Demo – GTK the Trimble Unit

Thursday, September 9 – Global Positioning Terminology/Metric Conversion Quiz

Tuesday, September 14 – Field Session #1 – BCTC Parking Lot

Thursday, September 16 – Field Session #2 – BCTC Parking Lot

Tuesday, September 21 – Instructor Demo – Pause Functions, Offsets and Navigation

Thursday, September 23 – Field Project #1 – BCTC Campus

Tuesday, September 28 – Field Project #1 – BCTC Campus

Thursday, September 30 – Field Project #2 – UK Engineering Campus

Tuesday, October 5 – Field Project #2 – UK Engineering Campus

Thursday, October 7 – NO CLASS – BCTC Fall Break Academic Holiday

Tuesday, October 12 – Field Project #3 – UK Engineering Campus

Thursday, October 14 – NO CLASS – Scheduled Instructor Absence

Tuesday, October 19 – Pathfinder Office Software – Data Editing & Differential Correction

Thursday, October 21 – Field Project #3 – UK Arboretum

Tuesday, October 26 – Field Project #3 – UK Arboretum

Thursday, October 28 – Field Project #3 – UK Arboretum

Tuesday, November 2 – Field Project #3 – UK Arboretum

Thursday, November 4 – Field Project #3 – UK Arboretum

Tuesday, November 9 – Guest Speaker: TBA

Thursday, November 11 – Guest Speaker: TBA

Tuesday, November 16 – Aerial Photographic Interpretation

Thursday, November 18 – Aerial Photographic Interpretation

Tuesday, November 23 – Semester Exam

Thursday, November 25 – NO CLASS – Thanksgiving Holiday

Tuesday, November 30 – Backup Date for Weather

Thursday, December 2 – Backup Date for Weather


Classes for Tuesday, November 30 & Thursday, December 2, 2010 will be utilized in the event inclement weather postpones scheduled GPS field sessions. The instructor retains the right to hold the semester exam during the final scheduled week of classes should weather conditions necessitate postponement of scheduled field sessions.


Downloads for GIS 110 in Microsoft Word (.doc) or (.ppt) format

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Posted August 1, 2010