Intermediate Geographic Information Systems
Department of Geography-Earth Science
Shippensburg University


GIS is a STEM discipline. The purpose of GIS2 is to help students to learn how to think spatially and develop practical skills using geospatial data and technology. Concepts covered during GIS I, including the nature of data, data models, geodesy, map projections and coordinate systems, will be revisited in greater detail. New topics will include sampling, spatial estimation, map algebra, terrain modeling, digital aerial photography, and spatial analysis. Skill development will focus on geospatial data collection methods, data processing methods, project management, and using spatial logic to answer geographic questions. GIS II serves as one of six courses that can be used to satisfy the elective requirement of the undergraduate GIS Letter of Program and it is a required course for Geography/GIS track majors.


Weekly calendars

In-class exercises (96 MB zipped)
Introduction to spatial analysis with rasters.

Virtual 3-D model of the Oroville Dam area. (1.2 MB)
Point-to-surface interpolation methods: 3 algorithms. (128 KB)
Creating point features from your spatial point sample dataset. (124 MB)
Common data and document formats used with ArcGIS for Desktop.

mapMtStHelens.kmz (< 1 MB)
Interactive topographic map of the Mt. St. Helens volcanic blast area.

Lab assignments

Terrain analysis

Lab 3 and GIS2_Lab_data_TerrainAnalysis (9MB)
The purpose of this lab is to help you learn how to conduct terrain analysis, a type of spatial analysis that relies heavily on a DEM, and to interpret derivative surfaces. This lab will also introduce you to cartographic models and how they are used to illustrate the logic of spatial models or workflows. Here's an example. Linked below are the videos that accompany the lab.

National Science Foundation (2015) "When Nature Strikes - Landslides." YouTube. Last accessed on February 18, 2018 at

IN Close (2014) "Voices of the Oso Landslide: Anatomy of a Landslide." YouTube. Last accessed on February 18, 2018 at

The Sand Table Project

Labs 01 and 02 and (1MB)
This hands-on learning experience is designed to help you plan to take a set of spatial observations, build spatial datasets, and build a representative topographic map (example) of the landscape.



Scott A. Drzyzga, Ph.D., GISP
Department of Geography-Earth Science
Center for Land Use & Sustainability
Shippensburg University
Shippensburg, PA 17257

CV: current