Friday, April 15, 2016

GIS4043/L - Introduction to GIS - Student Spotlight

Participation Assignment #2:  Dream GIS Job Search

This is the last Student Spotlight for Spring semester so we thought we would do something a little different. This week we are sharing one of the course participation assignments from GIS4043. In this assignment students were asked to conduct an internet search for their "dream" GIS job and identify skills they have or those that they need to acquire. 

Identifying GIS skills now will help students build their GIS resume (a requirement for GIS Internship course). Conducting a job search at the end of their first semester with us hopefully provides students insight to the industry and a personal goal to strive for.


Chris Crawford! Chris found a position for a GIS Specialist who works directly in the Police Technical Services Division of the City of Palo Alto, CA. The specialist updates and maintains the city’s emergency dispatch database and helps to ensure first responders respond more efficiently. Chris is a certified corrections officer and formerly-certified law enforcement.

Chris' desire to match his heart for public service in law enforcement with a position that could use his GIS knowledge compelled us to pick him as our spotlight this week. Let's face it... modern law enforcement needs visualized information and location analytics to empower frontline officers and commanders with better decision making. We think this "dream" job is a great choice!

Follow Chris' progress at his student blog:

Friday, April 1, 2016

GIS3015 - Cartographic Skills - Student Spotlight

Instructor: Penelope Bishop Mitchell, TA: Brandon Deusenberry

Module 10: Dot Density Mapping

This week students used ArcMap to generate Dot Density Maps for showing the distribution of populations within an area. While this activity is straightforward, it can be prone to freezing, and students had to troubleshoot and fix the issues themselves, an important skill for working in ArcGIS.

The Student Learning Outcomes were:

  • Join spatial and tabular data
  • Utilize dot density symbology
  • Select suitable dot size and unit value
  • Utilize mask function to manipulate dot placement
  • Compile map in accordance with typographic guidelines, cartographic design principles, and the Gestalt principles
  • Provide an overview of the dot density method
  • Describe advantages and disadvantages of the dot density method
  • Work with classmates, instructor, and TA via online discussion boards, and scheduled Elluminate sessions to meet common goals.
  • Summarize lab activities


Melissa's map does an excellent job of conveying the population information, with a nice inset map and separated legend. The addition of data sources and year at the bottom show an in depth understanding of not just the basic map elements, but of all the essential parts. All the map parts are crisp and clear, without being an overwhelming amount of information. Well done Melissa!

We would also like to take a moment to recognize Samuel Song for a professionally designed dot map and well drafted blog posted!  Great job Samuel!