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This page first made public: Aug 17, 2010

Simple Spatial Analysis based on Raster Data Structure

Wei Luo, Northern Illinois University

Summary

This is a simple lab exercise early in the semester to teach student the limitation of raster data structure, simple buffer and overlay operation without using computer. It helps students to get in the habit of drawing flow diagrams.

Context

Type and level of course
entry level GIS

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment
none

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
raster data structure
basic concept of buffer and overlay

Software required for this assignment/activity:
none

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
1 lab period (2 hours)

Goals

GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
The purposes of this exercise are:
(1) to understand the limitations of a raster data structure
(2) to be familiar with the basic operations of spatial analysis: buffer and overlay.
(3) to practice draw flow diagram and the ability to think through how to solve a problem.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
problem solving

Description of the activity/assignment

The purposes of this exercise are:
(1) to understand the limitations of a raster data structure
(2) to be familiar with the basic operations of spatial analysis: buffer and overlay.
We will determine the population at risk in an area if the gas pipe lines should rupture in an earthquake. As a simplification, the following criteria are used to determine the risk:
(A) any pipe line within 500 meters of a fault is at risk of rupture
(B) people within 500 meters of rupturing pipe line are at risk of injury

Determining whether students have met the goals

They will show a flow diagram that makes logical sense
They will produce buffer and overlay intermediate results and final map
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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