Digital Cartography Workshop: Assembling a GIS Database

The mechanics of collecting, compiling and comprehending the latest information about sites and their context has transformed in the past few years from a bureucratic paper-chase, to a puzzle of digital files in Geographic Information System (GIS) and computer-aided design (CAD) formats in confusing coordinate systems. The new electronic information resources, and the tools for manipulating them offer many new ways to understand and present site conditions and proposed interventions. This module covers the basics of bringing together data from various sources, including: demographic data from the US Census, commercial business directories, terrain information, scanned maps and aerial photography. Students will make and critically evaluate two-dimensional maps and broad-scale three-dimensional models using GIS, and learn techniques for moving information between GIS and CAD.