Topoff Mining Company Assignment

Enrique Gomezdelcampo, Bowling Green State University


Laboratory exercise to demonstrate the use of TINs in GIS using an example from surface coal mining.


Type and level of course
This is one of the last labs for an introductory GIS course.

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment
Basic mining concepts like overburden, ore, etc.

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
Basic knowledge of point entry from GPS data and surface interpolation techniques.

Software required for this assignment/activity:
ArcInfo 9.3 with 3D Analyst Extension.

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
4 hours


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
How to use different interpolation techniques within GIS.
How to read point data from GPS receivers.
How to visualize data in 3D using ArcScene.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Critical evaluation of different interpolation techniques.

Description of the activity/assignment

This is a computer lab where the students model the area to be mined, and estimate the amount of overburden that must be removed before the coal surface is exposed for mining.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The students write a report answering the questions posted at the end of the lab exercise. The questions are graded. Some answers are numeric, some other are essay questions and some other questions require critical analysis.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

URLs and References

Download teaching materials and tips

  • Activity Description/Assignment: Topoff Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 359kB May24 10)
  • Instructors Notes:
  • Solution Set:

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