11.520 | Fall 2005 | Graduate

A Workshop on Geographic Information Systems


Summary of Project Information (Fall 05)

Preliminary Project Proposal (Lec #10)

Turn in a one or two paragraph project proposal. You need not have a fully formulated project. At this point, we just want you to give us some indication of your possible areas of interest so we can help you zero in on specific questions and datasets that will make it manageable. Tell us a general area of interest, one or two possible questions that you would like to explore, and any data sets (beyond those we’ve already used in class) that you anticipate needing.

Project Title and Abstract (Lec #15)

Turn in your final project title and brief abstract by the end of Lec #15. The abstract should be brief, 1 paragraph - maximum of 1/2 page - and drawn from the earlier project proposal (or subsequent revisions). In this case, the abstract should briefly state the question/problem, the methodology (that is, the data you used and the methods such as thematic maps, buffer/overlay, etc. that you used to explore the question/problem), and the general results/conclusion.

Project Presentation (Lec #18)

Seven (7) minutes maximum!

Use the Web or Microsoft® PowerPoint® or Acrobat Reader for visual aids. The presentation should include the talk outline, maps as PDFs or JPEGs or PNGs, your results/conclusion outline, and a brief indication of any surprises, problems, newly-learned techniques. Due to strict time constraints, presentations will be cut off after seven minutes; it will be timed. This will allow time to show only a few maps and tables, and a handful of bullet points. Be concise!

Project Write-up (Lec #19)

The project write-up should track the presentation with at most 3 pages of text in addition to the maps/graphics. In general, the Web page for the presentation will be more of an outline and the write-up will fill in a paragraph or two of text for each of the items in the outline. Turning in a text-expanded copy of the Web page or Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation is okay as long as a printed copy of the Web page is adequate as a readable, standalone report. Color printouts are acceptable.

Project Content and Write-up Deadline

The project is intended to require about as much time as one of the homework sets. The purpose of the project is to undertake a small but open-ended project using one or more of the new technologies that you have learned this semester. Each project should involve some combination of the following:

  • Involve learning new aspects of an application beyond what we used in class/homework. For example, use more of ArcGIS to further explore the spatial patterns and visualization tools.

  • Involve moving datasets across machines and/or applications. For example, finding datasets on the Web and then parsing, address-matching, or otherwise linking them to ArcGIS maps so you can do some spatial analysis.

  • Address a substantive issue or question that requires some problem formulation and some open-ended exploration and analysis.

As explained in the class syllabus, the project write-up is due on the last day of class (Lec #19). But, every year, students request an extension. That’s okay as long as you turn it in by the end of the second day after Lec #19, but you will lose 5 points per day. No project write-ups will be accepted after Noon on the Monday after the due date. We need time to grade them and we don’t want this class to interfere with your preparation for other finals.