Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Planning

An illustration of GIS layers

Tuesday, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m., and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–noon
3 credits


Aslı Göçmen
Associate Professor, Environmental Studies and Geography

Course Description

If you are interested in how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used in professional fields such as urban and regional planning, landscape architecture, conservation, public policy, and public health, this course is for you!

This course is designed for students who have some background in GIS and are interested in exploring GIS data, applications, analytical tools, and issues relevant to planning and related fields.

At the end of the course, the students are expected to have:

  • Knowledge of how GIS is being and can be used in planning and related fields
  • Knowledge of GIS implementation and related issues in (planning) agencies
  • Ability to access and explain the nature, characteristics, and possible ways of analyzing spatial data relevant to planning
  • Heightened knowledge and ability of effectively communicating geospatial data and analyses

The course combines lectures, seminars, presentations, and computer lab-based hands-on experience.  The students are required to participate in weekly discussions, engage in a small research project, take a test, and complete several lab assignments.

The class meets twice a week, on Tuesdays for lectures (11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.) and on Thursdays for labs (9:30 a.m.–noon). Please note that in the official listing of the course, Geography/Environmental Studies/Civil Engineering 377 is listed as an enforced prerequisite, but if you have had other experience (e.g., completion of another introductory GIS course or online course, relevant experience in an internship), you can still get in the course. Please let Dr. Gocmen know that you are interested and state your relevant experience via email (

Fulfills Environmental Studies


UW Designations


Social Science