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Agriculture and Life Sciences | 2003

“Development and Implementation of a Spatial Data Exploration System (SPADES) for Undergraduate Instruction”

Charles Smith

"The home [ArcIMS] exercises made me better prepared to actually use the software in lab. It took me less time to really understand what I was supposed to do."


Spatially referenced information that can be displayed and manipulated using geographic information systems (GIS) technology is revolutionizing our capacity to evaluate patterns in space and time. To realize its potential in both social and natural sciences, students need hands on experience with all aspects of spatial data from the collection of field data to data manipulation, visualization and analysis. Since professional GIS applications are complex, this project proposed to create custom applications that enable students to perform geo-spatial activities from any location through an Internet map server. This provides an opportunity to experiment with the basic geo-processing functions discussed in class. But an even greater benefit may be that it will expose students to the real power of geo-spatial technology, and motivate them to use it in their own field of interest.

An ArcIMS server and GIS workstation were installed for developing web-based GIS applications. GPS units were purchased so that students could collect data at the Arnot Teaching and Research forest and several custom activities were developed for CS420 which focus students on specific GIS concepts. A proto-type database was also developed for linking field guide information to web-based GIS applications. Mann Library staff produced an additional resource in the form of a custom webliography for field naturalists.


  • ArcIMS (Arc Internet Map Server) infrastructure including a server and workstation
  • Web-based GIS (Geographic Information System) applications
  • GPS units for data collection
  • Protoype database


Seeing is Learning.

Lembo, Arthur and George Davis. 2005. Seeing is learning: the use of large images for research and teaching. Geoinformatics. January/February.

Manifold GIS Review.

Lembo, Arthur. 2004. Manifold GIS Review. Geoworld. Adams Business Media, New York, New York. May 2004.

How do I do that in ArcGIS/Manifold?

Lembo, Arthur, 2004. How do I do that in ArcGIS/Manifold?: Illustrating classic GIS tasks. Internet-First University Press Cornell University.

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