Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Urban Studies and Planning

11.521 Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems
11.523 Fundamentals of Spatial Database Management (1st half - until Spring Break)
11.524 Advanced Geographic Information System Project (2nd half - after Spring Break)

Spring 2018


Prof. Joseph Ferreira, Jr., Room 9-532, 617-253-7410,
TA: Rounaq Basu,

Class Information

Tuesday, Lab: 4-7 PM (4:00-5:00 is the most important part) in Room W31-301 (the Armory at corner of Mass Ave & Vassar St)
Thursday, Lecture: 5-6:30 PM in Room 9-450A
Friday, (optional) supervised Lab Time: 1-3 PM in 9-554 (the fifth floor computing lab)

NOTE #1: The 4-5:00 PM portion of the Tuesday lab is the most important part when the lab introduction and lab tips are presented. Students with conflicts from 5-6 can finish the lab exercises on their own at other times.

NOTE #2: After Spring Break, the 11.523 portion of the class ends and the 11.524 portion begins. The 11.524 portion is run as a workshop with all Tuesday and Thursday times devoted to class project work.

11.521 combines the two half-semester modules 11.523 and 11.524.

During the first half-semester, 11.523 is a hands-on introduction to spatial analysis, spatial database management, and distributed GIS. We focus on planning applications involving parcel- to metropolitan-scale analyses of land use and transportation, spatial structure, neighborhood dynamics, urban management, and urban indicators. We use enterprise GIS, map mashups, SQL, and advanced Geoprocessing techniques that facilitate 'big data' urban analytics.. Weekly lab exercises build facility with relational database management and spatial analysis methods using real-world datasets from Boston and other metro areas.

During the second half-semester class, 11.524 undertakes a class project utilizing these advanced GIS and spatial data management skills. The project focuses on spatial analyses of land use and transportation patterns and planning options related to sustainability and mobility in metro Boston and Singapore. We will explore ways of facilitating regional/local planning dialog through the use of State and Local government GIS data layers together with metropolitan planning models.

11.523 is now designed to be accessible to students with a minimal prior introduction to GIS: e.g., just the half-semester "11.205 -Introduction to Sptatial Analysis" module taught this past Fall (see You do not need the full-semester introduction to GIS (11.188 or 11.520).

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Last modified:  20 January 2018 [rb]