GEOG 3053 Geographic Information Science: Mapping

Instructor Contact:

Dr. Rachel Isaacs


About the Course:

This course is intended to introduce students to theory and practice of cartography and visualization. This course will teach students to learn, to think, and to communicate visually using a variety of GIS data. Activities and a final project will teach students to visually display and examine real-world data. Students will learn symbology, coordinate systems, map projections, topographic representations, interpolation, classification schemes, and to effectively visually communicate real-world data to scientific and general public audiences.


  1. Students will design and produce effective reference and thematic maps using GIS and graphic design software.
  2. Students will assess, interpret, and critique maps and related information graphics verbally.
  3. Students will understand and describe map design principals including: map projections, scale, location, documentation, and supporting materials.
  4. Students will create their own standalone print and web-based maps
  5. Students will present maps and other visual aid creations to classmates

Recommended Texts:

Brewer, C.A., 2016, Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users, second edition, Esri Press, Redlands CA, 231 pp (ISBN 978-1-58948-440-5).

Grading (out of n points):

Assignments Assignment Value
Weekly Activities 15 pts x 12 = 180
Discussion Posts 10 pts x 14 = 140
Final Paper Proposal 25 pts
Final Project Story Map Drafts 10 pts
Final Projects 100 pts
Total 455 pts

** I reserve the right to change assignments (add/subtract) as we go based on class feedback, pace, and learning.

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado