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University of California, Davis

Geospatial Analysis Project

University of California, Davis via Coursera

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In this project-based course, you will design and execute a complete GIS-based analysis – from identifying a concept, question or issue you wish to develop, all the way to final data products and maps that you can add to your portfolio. Your completed project will demonstrate your mastery of the content in the GIS Specialization and is broken up into four phases:

Milestone 1: Project Proposal - Conceptualize and design your project in the abstract, and write a short proposal that includes the project description, expected data needs, timeline, and how you expect to complete it.

Milestone 2: Workflow Design - Develop the analysis workflow for your project, which will typically involve creating at least one core algorithm for processing your data. The model need not be complex or complicated, but it should allow you to analyze spatial data for a new output or to create a new analytical map of some type.

Milestone 3: Data Analysis – Obtain and preprocess data, run it through your models or other workflows in order to get your rough data products, and begin creating your final map products and/or analysis.

Milestone 4: Web and Print Map Creation – Complete your project by submitting usable and attractive maps and your data and algorithm for peer review and feedback.


  • Course Overview and Milestone 1: Project Proposal
    • In this milestone, you will have weeks 1 and 2 to build a project proposal that contains your research question or hypothesis, background information, potential data sources and methods, and your expected results. This proposal will lead you into future milestones by providing a guide to help keep your analysis on track. You will start by getting an overview of the entire project and the assignment for this first milestone. From there, you will learn about some sources for project ideas and data sources and look at an example project proposal.
  • Milestone 1: Project Proposal Submission
    • In this module, you will continue to work through Milestone 1, your project proposal as outlined in the first week. You will then submit your proposal for peer review.
  • Milestone 2: Planning Your Workflow
    • In this milestone, you will have week 3 to practice your algorithmic development. In the previous milestone, you posed a question you want to answer - now you'll develop a plan, your algorithm, for how to answer that question with GIS. In practice, this means you'll develop a ModelBuilder model that shows your planned analysis workflow, or some part of it. For those of you who are conducting an analysis that's not conducive to making a model, you can write out your series of steps instead. Regardless, by the end of this module, you'll have a plan for how to produce your results.
  • Milestone 3: Data Analysis
    • For this milestone, you will have weeks 4, 5, and 6 to process your data according to the model you created in the previous milestone, reinforcing your data analysis concepts and practice. When you complete your analysis, you will add metadata to any resulting layers, and you will also write an assessment of what the results mean and how they answer your research question.
  • Milestone 3: Data Analysis Continue
    • In this module, you will continue to work through Milestone 3, analyzing your data as outlined in the fourth week. Pay close attention to data quality issues and your metadata, as reviewed in this week's videos. You will have one more week to complete your data analysis.
  • Milestone 3: Data Analysis Submission
    • In this module, you will continue to work through Milestone 3, analyzing your data as outlined in the fourth and fifth week. You will then submit your data analysis for peer review.
  • Milestone 4: Creating Your Maps
    • In this module, you will have weeks 7 and 8 to hone your map-making skills, building at least two maps that visually interpret the results of your analysis. In making both a web map and a print-layout map, as well as through extra practice materials, you'll refine cartographic techniques that you previously learned as well as new ones to help you to better display information in map form. Should you choose to, you will also build a small website for your project by the time you complete this module.
  • Milestone 4: Creating Your Maps Submission
    • In this module, you will continue to work through Milestone 4, creating your maps as outlined in the seventh week. You will then submit your maps for peer review.

Taught by

Jeff Loux, Ph.D. and Nick Santos


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 268 ratings

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