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Applied GIS Courses and Projects

The Spatial Informatics graduate programs within the School of Computing and Information Science at the University of Maine are focused on advancing the tools and techniques of geographic information science (GIScience) and developing the knowledge base for the advancement of next generation location technologies. However, there are many other academic areas on campus and across the UMS that are using GIS and related technologies applied to their own teaching and research (e.g. biology, forestry, marine studies, etc.)

Below we list the extent to which Geographic Information Systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing and closely related tracking, mapping and navigation technologies are being used already within coursework and in research throughout various fields across the campus. Selected professors were asked to indicate (1) those courses they taught in which the instructor did any kind of teaching or training in GIS, GPS, mapping, remote sensing or closely related technologies or (b) if students used or applied any of these technologies in their research, course work or community service activities.

Further submissions and updates may be submitted to

Courses involving GIS, GPS or closely related location, tracking or mapping technologies
Course Number Course Title Location technologies or software learned or used by students Courses already taught by distance methods or readily could be so taught.
ERS 230 Geomatics for Earth Sciences GNSS; GIS, remote sensing
ERS350 Freshwater Flows Google Earth, Web Soil Survey
ERS588 Freshwater Flows – graduate w/independent project ArcGIS
INT 527 Integration of GIS and Remote Sensing in Natural Resources Applications ERDAS Imagine, ArcMap
SFR 205 Forest Measurements MapInfo
SFR208 Geomatics GPS and Coordinate Geometry Trimble Pathfinder office, Trimble terrasync & MapInfo
SFR211 Introduction to Forest Operations Planning Softree – Road EngGarmin GPS
SFR300 Field Practice in Forest Resources Garmin GPS
SFR400 Applied Geographic Information Systems ArcGis, MapInfo, Global Mapper, Trimble Pathfinder, Trimble terrasync, DNR Garmin
SFR 402 Advanced Forest Measurements ArcGIS
SFR 406 Remote Sensing Image Interpretation & Forest Mapping Nutting 254
SFR 609 Remote Sensing Special Problems Nutting 254
SIE 510 GIS applications ArcGIS
SIE 512 Spatial Analysis R, Geoda
SIE 515 Human-Computer Interaction GPS tracking, design and visualization of maps for navigation
SIE 516 Virtual Reality: Research and Applications 3D modeling and rendering using Unity 3D suite, spatial interactions of 3D objects in VR, tracking of humans/objects in virtual worlds
SMS 540 Satellite Oceanography Terascan, MATLAB
SVT 331 Photogrammetry GPS, remote sensing
SVT 352 Practical Field Operations GIS, GPS, remote sensing
SVT 437 Practical GPS GIS, GPS
SVT 490 Surveying Capstone GIS, GPS
SVT 501 Advanced Adjustment Computations GPS, Remote Sensing
SVT 511 Geodetic Computations in the U.S. Public Land Survey System GIS, GPS
SVT 531 Advanced Digital Photogrammetry GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing
SVT 532 Survey Strategies in the Use of Lidar GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing


GIS-Related Academic Programs that are Offered in Entirety OnlineNote: All programs listed here are offered through the School of Computing and Information Science – The interface for the school’s online courses is at
Academic Program Offered Online Further Information Comments
Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems Offered both on campus and by distance.
Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Offered both on campus and by distance. Core courses taught by Spatial Informatics faculty that use many location based illustrations.
Master of Science in Information Systems Offered both on campus and by distance. Core courses taught by Spatial Informatics faculty that use many location based illustrations.
Master of Science in Spatial Informatics An all course-work graduate degree to be available only through distance learning. The program is currently proceeding through the final steps of the formal approval process.


Illustrative Student and Faculty Projects using GIS, GPS or closely related location, tracking or mapping technologies
Descriptive title of project Goal of project Location technologies or software used
Watershed characteristics of EPA TIME lakes Update 1980s data for EPA reporting Arc GIS, GPS
EPA-LTM lakes – coring study Determine how landscape characteristics affect chemistry of lakes Arc GIS, GPS
Dragonfly mercury in national parks Characterize watersheds of water bodies in parks across the US Arc GIS
Map making for SFR452 interpretation class Simple GPSing of waypoints and tracks to show interpretive features and trails Whatever students know from prior classes, sometimes they combine with Morin’s GIS class project
Greenland and Antarctic outlet dynamics Deploy networks of high-rate GPS receivers to understand transient flow behavior of large outlet glaciers, to better predict future rates of sea level rise GNSS
Maine Futures Community Mapper Land use modeling RS/GIS/Netica
New England Sustainability Consortium Characterize freshwater flows to estuaries GPS of drainage features, watershed maps
Landscape Ecology of Bees Assess the Maine landscape to predict bee diversity Nutting Hall lab facilities
Mapping Forest Biomass Use LiDAR to predict biomass ArcGIS
Ocean variability in the California Current Climate impacts on ocean patterns Ocean satellite data, MATLAB, IDL
Assessment of vegetation succession and spatial dynamics in Okefenokee Swamp, GA Develop vegetation map and spatial Bayesian Belief Network model of Okefenokee Swamp ArcMap, Netica, R
Ecological Field Research Climate Change Effects GPS, mapping
Geographic Coordinate Data Base Coordinates GMM
4-H Projects on GIS and GPS Promote Geospatial science and career aspirations Statewide in Maine
multiple projects all involving surveying water wells or other hydrologic monitoring equipment and display on maps
Informatics of indoor spaces (NSF grant) To study behaviors of indoor human navigation and to develop new visualization techniques to improve indoor navigation using a portable device 3D rendering using virtual reality, 3d Max / CAD, Android API,
Seafloor mapping in Sebasticook Lake Map bathymetry of lake Magellen GPS, ArcView
Climate interpolation and downscaling Create 1km global climate layers R/Python/GDAL
Climate change adaptation Estimate land cover change Erdas, ARCGIS
EPSCoR NEST Identify human and physical factors influencing coastal bacterial events ArcGIS, R
Greenland surface melting Development and application of an algorithm for extracting liquid water volumes in multispectral satellite images Remote Sensing
Resource Use in Alaska’s National Forests
Amphibian use of wetland-limited landscapes in Maine Examine amphibian spatial use of wetland limited landscapes ArcMap, R
E-911 Mapping Map out the E-911 locations for the Town of Orrington Trimble Terrasync, Pathfinder, MapInfo, ArcGIS
Taxbase Mapping town of Orrington Georeference the paper tax base and convert it to digital form pathfinder, Terrasync, MapInfo, ArcGIS, Vertical Mapper
Distributed hydrologic modeling in the Sebago Lake watershed Determine factors influencing freshwater flow rates into Sebago Lake ArcGIS, Total Station, GPS
Surface flow routing to tidal estuaries on Maine’s coast Quantify drainage pathways, including hill slope ArcGIS, Global Mapper, Total Station, GPS