Introduction to Geographic Software and Mapping

Instructor:  Fred Bowers

  • Zoom Class
  • 4 Sessions, 10:00a.m. 1 hour, Tuesday, September 22, 29, 6, 13
  • Class limit 20
  • $15
  • Class full, registration closed

Geography and map making are quite sophisticated today; enabled by Geographic information systems (GIS) that rely on an array of earth satellites that provide data for software applications. Using these systems, we plan routes for our car and bike trips, browse for real estate, take hikes, conduct environmental and urban planning, and more.

The basic science of these systems requires some understanding of geometry to determine locations, draw objects, and use software to input search parameters like latitude/longitude, state, county, town, zip. The objective of this course is to learn how to make maps and routes using free software applications. Creating these maps is an interesting challenge, but not difficult.

The instructor will interactively teach students how to use these tools. Instruction methods will include Zoom meetings, PowerPoint presentations, and electronic chats or email. GIS can become an interesting hobby and can be performed at home.

4 Sessions, 10:00a.m. 1 hour, Tuesday, September 22, 29, 6, 13
Class limit 20

Introduction to Geography Software and Mapping

Autumn 2020
Fred Bowers

1. Materials

  • Instructor will send email links to an iCloud type file server (Microsoft OneDrive).
  • Students will click on the links as lessons for you to download the files to a computer or another location.
  • if it’s a PowerPoint file, you will be able to open the file on your computer…. if you own PowerPoint.
  • If you don’t own PowerPoint, it will run inside of a Microsoft website called OneDrive.
  • OneDrive is free but you must get a free account with them.
  • If you have trouble here, email the instructor fredbowers@mac.com. You may need to download Quicktime Player or something that will play .mov or .mp4 files.
  • If you have trouble with any of this, I may be able to provide a pdf file and a video .mp4 file, but you will have to choreograph your show a bit if you do that.

2. Lessons
a. Watch video “Meet your instructor” Click here.
b. Download and Start watching PowerPoint Presentations (select Full or parts)
i. PowerPoint Presentation (Full Version) (Click Here)
ii. Presentation broken into parts
1. Introduction and Scope of Class (Click here)
2. Foundations of Cartography (Click here)
3. GIS Concepts (Click here)
4. GIS Software (Click here)
5. Make your own maps with QGis (Click here)

2) Zoom Meetings
a. Day 1 (September 22, 2020, 10:00a.m.)
b. Day 2 (September 29, 2020, 10:00a.m.)
c. Day 3 (October 6, 2020, 10:00a.m.)
d. Day 4 (October 13, 2020, 10:00a.m.)

Fred Bowers holds a Ph.D. in Forest Soils from the University of Washington in Seattle. His research work in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska necessitated understanding soil science, geology, mineralogy, chemistry, and forest ecology. Prior to that, he earned an M.S. in agronomy and soil pedology from Rutgers University. After 27 years working as a Research Scientist for the New Jersey DEP, he retired and moved to Belfast. He taught the Spring 2019 Senior College course entitled “Understanding Your Surroundings; Rocks, Soils and Landscapes.”