ECIV 5339 GIS Course

Course Outline


This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Topics will include definition, components and functions of GIS, hardware, software, spatial reference frameworks, data structures and analysis, data capture and management, in addition to apply some real-world applications of GIS in Civil Engineering field.


By completing this course, students will:

  • Gain a basic, practical understanding of GIS concepts, applications and how it can be used to create maps, charts, images and other types of presentations.
  • Understand basic GIS data and analysis concepts.
  • Gain practical experience using basic GIS tools.
  • Gain practical applications of GIS in many engineering fields.



I. Introduction and Overview of Geographic Information Systems

Definition of a GIS; ; historical development of GIS,  why GIS is important; GIS as an Information System, Function of GIS, Components of GIS.

II. Data Models and Structure

Exploring GIS Data, Database concepts, Data formats, Topology, Data Source, Database Models, Benefits of database, Data quality,

III. Query and Analysis Data

Query, Reclassification, Coverage Rebuilding, Overlay, Connectivity Analysis, Boundary operations, Measurements, Transformations, Optimization techniques

IV. Planning a GIS project

Identify your objectives, Create a project database, Analyze the data, Present the results

V. Making Maps

Presenting the results; map functions in GIS; map design and map elements; choosing a map type; producing a map formats, Creating the report , adding report and charts on maps.

VI. GPS Overview

GPS definition and component, how GPS does work?, Velocity and Time, GPS Data, Accuracy and error, Differential GPS (DGPS) Technique. Applications

VII. Coordinate Systems & Map projection

Global coordinate systems, Cartesian coordinate system, Selected Map Projections, Map projection, Spheroid, Datum,

VIII. Georeferncing, Geocoding and Network analysis

Concept and Definitions , Georeferencing a raster , Data collection method and Applications, Geocoding ,  Network analysis

IX. Introduction to Remote Sensing

Definition, Resolution, Electromagnetic Energy (EMR), Types, Interpretation, Applications

X. The Future of GIS & Application Areas


Presentation Methodology:

Lectures using LCD , discussion classes, Laboratory Works,  project.

Grading Policy:

  • Lab & Class Participation                                       10 %
  • Midterm Exam                                                        30 %
  • Project and Presentation                                         10 %
  • Final Exam                                                              50 %


  • Longley, Goodchild, Maguire and Rhind. 2011. Geographic Information Systems and Science., 3 rd. edition, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Bolstad, Paul (2005) GIS Fundamentals. 2nd edition, Eider Press.
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute. 2000. Getting to Know Arc GIS. Third Edition. ESRI.
  • Burrough, P.A. and R. A. McDonnell, 1998. Principles of Geographic Information Systems. New York: Oxford University Press, 333 p.
  • Chrisman, N. R., 2001. Exploring Geographic Information Systems (2nd ). John Wiley & Sons, New York.
  • GIS Concepts and ARCGIS Methods, David M. Theobald, (2003). Conservation Planning Technologies, Fort Collins, CO.ISBN: 0-9679208-2-5.