11.205 | Fall 2019 | Graduate

Introduction to Spatial Analysis


 For full bibliographic information, see the Bibliography page.

WEEK # TOPICS Readings


Getting Started

Primary Readings

  • Maantay and Ziegler, GIS for the Urban Environment, Chapter 1
  • Longley et al., Geographical Information Systems and Science, Chapter 1

Case Study Readings (optional, but helpful for homework)

  • Maantay and Ziegler, Case Studies 1-2
  • Longley et al., Chapter 2

Helpful Resources for Websites

  • DUSPviz – Intro to HTML and CSS
  • DUSPviz – Portfolios with a Bootstrap Template
  • DUSPviz - Tutorials


Cartography and Map Design

Primary Readings

  • Slocum, et al., Thematic Cartography and Geographic Visualization, Chapter 1
  • Maantay and Ziegler, Chapter 4

Visual Guides to Symbols and Classification (optional, but recommended reference for homework)

  • Krygier and Wood, Making Maps, Chapters 8 and 9

Case Study Readings: Power of Visualization

  • Kurgan, Close Up at a Distance, Chapter 9
  • Kitchin et al., Rethinking Maps, Chapter 1

Optional Reading

  • Corner, “The Agency of Mapping” (great for designers!)
  • Cosgrove, “Carto-City” (great for urbanists!)


Spatial Data - Types, Structures, and Representation

Primary Readings

  • Maantay and Ziegler, Chapter 4
  • Longley et al., Chapter 9
  • Salm, “Visualizing NYC’s MapPLUTO Database”

Case Study Readings: Zoning and GIS

  • Bui et al., “40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today” 
  • Zandbergen and Hart, “Reducing Housing Options for Convicted Sex Offenders” 

Web Sites to Explore

  • Municipal Art Society: Accidental Skyline Tool
  • OASIS Map
  • Cambridge Map Viewer

Optional Reading (summary, helpful for quick understanding)

  • Krygier and Wood, Chapter 3


Quantitative Mapping: Census Data and the ACS

Primary Readings:

  • Maantay and Ziegler, Chapter 6
  • Peters and MacDonald, Urban Policy and the Census, Chapters 1 and 2 (Chapter 3 optional)
  • Badger, “A Census Question That Could Change How Power Is Divided in America” 
  • Branigan, “China census could be first to record true population”

Case Study: Segregation, Funding, and Schools

  • Turner, “The 50 Most Segregating School Borders In America” 
  • Turner, “Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem” NPR, 2016
  • Fault Lines Web Map
  • “Fault Lines: America’s Most Segregated School District Borders” (pp. 21-26 mandatory, the rest optional)

Web Sites to Explore

  • Census Data Visualization Gallery
  • Bloch et al., “Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census”
  • Aisch et al., “Where We Came From and Where We Went, State by State”
  • Bloch et al., “Mapping America: Every City, Every Block”
  • Gebeloff et al., “Where Poor and Uninsured Americans Live”
  • Bloch et al., “Mapping Uninsured Americans”
  • Community Data Portal, Pratt Center for Community Development

Optional Reading

  • Monmonier, How to Lie with Maps, Chapter 10


Spatial Data Formats and Geoprocessing

Primary Readings

  • Maantay and Ziegler, Chapter 9
  • Schlossberg, “GIS, the US Census and Neighborhood Scale Analysis”

Case Study: Transportation Catchment Areas and GIS

  • Andersen and Landex, “GIS-based Approaches to Catchment Area Analysis of Mass Transit” 
  • Frank et al., “Urban Form, Travel Time, and Cost Relationships with Tour Complexity and Mode Choice”
  • Cox, “Region’s Transportation and Land-Use Policies Have Little Effect on Traffic Congestion”

Optional Reading

  • Kremer and DeLiberty, “Local Food Practices and Growing Potential”


Geocoding and Address Finding - Beginning Raster Decision Making

Primary Readings

  • Maantay and Ziegler, Chapter 7
  • Shkolnikov, “Befriending a Geocoder”

Case Study: Geo-coding (for those interested in U.S.-based economic development and arts and culture)

  • Currid and Williams, “The Geography of Buzz”

Case Study: Addressing the Favelas (everyone look at this!)

  • “Take a Trip to the Olympics with what3words and RioGo” 
  • “Addressing Brazil’s favelas | what3words” 
  • Marshall, “Google and Microsoft are Putting Rio’s Favelas on the Map”

Reference Reading (to understand geocoding errors and issues

  • Goldberg et al., “From Text to Geographic Goordinates”
  • Zandbergen, “Influence of street reference data on geocoding quality”
  • Hart and Zandbergen, “Reference data and geocoding quality” (good background on geo-coding problems you should be aware of)


Raster Decision Making and Suitability

Primary Readings

  • Maantay and Ziegler, Chapters 9 and 12
  • Collins, Steiner, and Richman, “Land-Use Suitability Analysis in the United States” 

Case Study

  • Kar and Hodgson, “A GIS‐Based Model to Determine Site Suitability of Emergency Evacuation Shelters”

Optional Reading

  • Carr and Zwick, “Using GIS Suitability Analysis to Identify Potential Future Land Use Conflicts” 


Transition to 11.520


Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2019