Geographic Information Systems is a powerful urban planning tool that provides functionality to capture, store, question, analyze, display and produce geographic information. Moreover, it is a technology that encompasses the study of spatial (geographic) locations and features on Earth’s surface and the relationships between them. Because urban planning fundamentally involves the study of locations and spatial relationships, today’s employers are looking for graduates of urban planning and urban design programs with good command of GIS. Particularly, professionals with spatial analysis techniques and GIS project management skills are on demand in order to effectively deal with multi-faceted urban planning issues. Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (Esri) ArcGIS software suite has become a standard in the industry and is used by many government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private firms engaged in GIS analyses.
Urban planning is the very foundation for the development of any area in the world. It is therefore vital that scholars, researchers, and experts take advantage of their access to technology and find new ways to help areas progress. Research and technology advancement is perpetually evolving in and of itself so it is our mission, along with all the contributions of fellow scholars, to learn and help others learn the newest techniques needed to move forward.
This summer school is concerned with the application of decision supports system based on Geographic Information Systems in the urban planning process which is essentially concerned with the overall development of an area with regards to design, environmental aspects of development, transportation and more. Moreover, it aims to build spatial analysis skills, valued by today’s employers, through a comprehensive, real world-focused course of study in GIS. It is taught mainly as a combined lecture and computer laboratory course using Esri’s ArcGIS 10 software and a variety of hands-on exercises.
This summer school endeavors to provide a balance between the "how-to" of using ArcGIS 10 and the "why" of GIS by explaining the roles GIS technology plays in analyzing different urban planning issues. Most of the course will be devoted to helping participants learn the specific steps necessary to utilize the powerful ArcGIS tools including 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, and Network Analyst. Participants will use real data in order to learn how to overcome typical problems. Since the visual communication of quantitative data is a vital skill for urban planners, exercises will help further develop participants GIS skills by framing a planning project, developing a set of high-quality GIS maps to illustrate the issues and presenting a focused summary report and presentation of results.