Getting Around SOC 4650 and SOC 5650

What Are the Main Course Resources?

There are five big resources that you’ll be using this semester to take this class:

  1. The first is Blackboard. If you are new to Blackboard, it is a bit clunky, but it gets the job done. We will be using Blackboard primarily because all courses are required to right now. I’ll be sharing lecture recordings here along with links to other resources (under “Course Materials”), posting grades, and using the message board function for answering questions between classes.
  2. The second is this course website, which is the central place for finding notes, materials, and links for each course meeting.
  3. The third is our syllabus, which contains all the course policies and due dates.
  4. The fourth is GitHub, which we’ll use for sharing lecture materials and submitting assignments.
  5. The fifth is our final project guide, which will help walk you through the requirements for the project.

I do my best to provide links between these difference sources as often as possible. However, I recommend bookmarking the course website, which includes links to everything.

How Is the Course Organized?

The course is organized into four parts:

  1. Course Introduction - an introduction to what GIS is, reading maps, and some of the open science tools and concepts we’ll be using this semester
  2. Data Cleaning - a pair of meetings focused on preparing and combing “tabular” data prior to mapping
  3. Geoprocessing - an overview of modifying and preparing “geometric” data to customize maps
  4. Map Products with ArcGIS - we’ll be focused on ArcGIS Online this semester and specifically will spend time on creating story maps with interactive maps embedded in them
  5. Map Products with R - we’ll focus on creating similar interactive maps to what ArcGIS Online offers as well as adding finishing details to the static maps we’ve been making all semester

All of the course resources, including the syllabus, Blackboard, and this website, are organized around these modules.

How Do I Stay Up-to-date?

First and foremost, come to class. I start every class with “front matter” that includes announcements and upcoming deadlines. I also end class with “back matter,” which reviews some of the most important announcements.

I’ll also use Blackboard’s Announcements page to send you emails about class. This means you need to check your email regularly. This means every day, multiple times per day.