USF web mapping course
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README.md

README.md

This code repository serves as the course website for ENVM-680 Spring 2017, Web Mapping. The class will provide students with a working knowledge of web-based mapping for a range of applications, including mapping election results, animating the geographic spread of disease, and styling maps of environmental information. We will rely on the open-source Carto platform. Students will have the opportunity to create maps and learn about programmatic ways to query large-scale geospatial data, embed maps in blogs, and other modern techniques for analyzing and sharing geospatial information.

Course information


  • Course meeting: Room HR104, Wednesdays 6:30pm PT - 9:30pm PT
  • Instructor information: Dan Hammer (dan@earthgenome.org) Adjunct professor, Department of Environmental Science. Zoom.
  • Office hours: By appointment
  • Course texts: There is no book required for this class. All course material is hosted online, mainly within this repository.
  • Software: The primary software is web-based and no license is required for course access. Some courses will use Excel, just to demonstrate interoperability, but access to Excel is not required for the course. The data files will be provided by the instructor.
  • Assignments: Course readings and exercises will be assigned after the associated lecture. I highly suggest you read the material and complete the computer assignments for you own benefit, but only a few, selected assignments will be submitted for a grade.
  • Evaluation: A letter grade will be assessed at the end of the course, based on course participation (10%), four problem sets (60%), and a final project (30%).
  • Academic honesty: The University of San Francisco expects the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity. This precludes engaging in, causing, or benefiting from any aspects of cheating on assignments or examinations, plagiarism (intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise), forgery, multiple submissions of the same paper, or any other such activities are not in accord with professional ethics and behavior. Any assignment found not to be in the student's own words will be marked zero.

Course sequence


This is a rough course outline that is subject to change as the semester advances. The lectures and this sequence may be updated.

  1. Basics (March 22) Getting started with guided tutorials. Create static and dynamic maps. Introduction to in-browser SQL scripts. Logistics and planning.

  2. SQL and APIs (March 29) Introduction to SQL scripts within the CartoDB editor. Views onto synced tables for real-time maps of stream flow data. Assignment 1 issued.

  3. Multiple tables (April 5) Find points within polygons and multipolygons from multiple tables. Intermediate SQL queries relying on PostGIS. Assignment 2 issued.

  4. Analysis (April 12) Creating a simple map of points, simple Category maps with icons, drawing a circle from a point and radius, counting points in polygons.

  5. PostGIS fluency (April 19) More practice with spatial transform operations, with environmental applications.

  6. Styling maps and Open Street Map (April 26) Import OSM data via the Overpass API and style maps based on table values.

  7. Sharing maps and spatial calculations (May 3) Quick introduction to publishing maps on a Google Site and distance calculations.

  8. Special topics in web mappong (May 10) Student-chosen topics in web mapping.

People and interests

  • Dan natural capital, scaling environmental impact through greater information
  • Elden Fish and Wildlife Service, remote sensing and 3D modeling, autonomous driving networks
  • John restoration ecology
  • Holden renewable energy, developing renewable energy infrastructure in CA, biofuel
  • Emily risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, water quality and pollutants
  • Ethan electric vehicle adoption, transportation.
  • OJ Nonprofits, environmental projects in collaboration with companies; sustainable mobility, traffic;
  • Bernadette groundwater resource; groundwater vulnerability assessment in Salinas Valley
  • Radhika SERVIR Mekong, land use and land change; waste management, island nations
  • Jeremy charging stations, how accessible to amenities; distances between locations.
  • Erin solar company in oakland, solar system design; community solar and storage in hawaii.
  • Evan forest quality for the America Pika persistence (like a hamster) which is sensitive to climate change.
  • Cassie air resources board, gis analysis of survey data for seasonal usage pattern of vehicles. Holes in CA smog check program.
  • Jeno how mapping can be used for public policy. Targeting voters for campaign. Heat map.