NCGIA Core Curriculum in Geographic Information Science

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Useful materials from related projects

  1. The original NCGIA Core Curriculum
  2. The NCGIA Core Curriculum for Technical Programs
  3. The Geographer's Craft Project
  4. The Virtual Geography Department

1. The original NCGIA Core Curriculum

The original NCGIA Core Curriculum was completed in 1990. A few years later when the WWW had emerged, Brian Klinkenberg at the University of British Columbia offered to translate the document files into html and make them available over the web. These are still on-line at While some of this material is now out-of-date, many of these original units are still useful. Those of particular value are listed below.

NOTE - the overhead graphics from the printed version of the original Core Curriculum were scanned and, though available on the UBC site, are linked only from the main table of contents page, not from each individual unit. The simple hand drawn sketches included in the body of original text are not included, but are indicated by the word "diagram". 

2. The NCGIA Core Curriculum for Technical Programs

The Core Curriculum for Technical Programs was developed in the latter part of the 1990's for use by instructors teaching technical skills related to the use of GISystems. Most of this material is at a much more elementary level than is intended for the GISCC, but some readers may find it useful.

3. The Geographer's Craft Project

The Geographers Craft is a teaching initiative being pursued in the Department of Geography at University of Colorado at Boulder to improve the teaching of geographical techniques at the introductory level. It is a two-semester course experimenting with active-learning, problem-solving methods of instruction and hypermedia, Internet-based course materials. The goal is to promote analytical reasoning and critical thinking by having students address research problems with 'appropriate' geographical concepts and techniques, whether drawn from cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing, spatial statistics, or other information technologies. An extensive set of materials for The Geographer's Craft project is being made available on-line through the Internet in the form of an electronic textbook and electronic laboratory guide. The Geographer's Craft project was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Several of the notes in the Geographer's Craft Project are complementary to materials being developed for the GISCC.   While our materials are being created, we direct your attention to the following excellent substitutes for GISCC units:

1.4. Map projections and transformation  (Unit 019) --> Map Projections

2.8.  Populating the GISystem (Unit 066) -->  Data Sources

2.10. Handling uncertainty (Unit 096) -->  Managing Error

2.11.1.  Cartographic fundamentals (Unit 102) --> Cartographic Communication

2.14.1. Spatial decision support systems (Unit 127) --> Spatial Decision Support Systems for Location Planning

3.2.4. Legal issues (Unit 147) --> Legal Issues Relating to GIS

4. The Virtual Geography Department

The Virtual Geography Department (VGD) incorporates a wide range of instructional materials by a number of contributors from around the world. Modules may contain lecture notes, slide collections, classroom and laboratory exercises, ideas for term projects, sample datasets, virtual fieldtrips, and examples of research not available elsewhere. Modules are available for topics in the geographic information sciences including cartography, remote sensing, and statistics, cultural geography, introductory human geography, physical geography, the history and philosophy of geography, and world regional geography. Working groups have also been established to prepare materials on the Earth's environment and society, regional and area studies, urban geography, and virtual fieldtrips. The VGD also maintains a comprehensive list of Web-based geographic data sources, geography departments, and courses with on-line materials.

The Project is endorsed by the National Council for Geographic Education, the Commission of College Geography of the Association of American Geographers, and the Geography Education Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Funding was originallyy provided by the National Science Foundation to convene summer workshops in which teams of geographers came  together to organize and develop course materials.

The correct URL for this page is:
Last revised: August 12, 2000.

Gateway to the Core Curriculum