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Case Studies: Work/Site Alliance
- Community Based GIS Education

About the project  

Work/Site Alliance - Community Based GIS Education is a project funded by the National Science Foundation.

Case studies were developed using real-world data.

The case studies developed by the W/SA represent universal concerns faced in most urban communities across the United States and in other countries. Educators and students can use these case studies as a learning tool that explores the use of GIS technology in solving real-world problems, and also as a model for developing their own studies using data from their own communities.

Developing meaningful case studies.

Real-world data is just one component of a meaningful case study. Each of the case studies developed by the W/SA has been designed with the ideal case study in mind. The ideal case study includes:

  •  A real client and problem.

  •  A GIS-based solution that takes advantage of spatial analysis

  •  Appropriate data for addressing the problem.

  •  Curriculum connections in relevant disciplines.
  •  Faculty experience managing student work on the project

Structure is important

Each of the case studies has been organized to capture all aspects of a project in a progressive sequence which enables self-teaching for teachers and students. The standard organization is as follows :

  1. Overview of this Case Study
  2. Analyzing Requirements, Scope of Study, and data Needed
  3. Planning the Project
  4. Conducting the Analysis
  5. Presenting, Refining and Extending the Study 

The Case Study overview outlines the problem to be solved, learning objectives,prerequisties,learning resources, and also provides educator tips(e.g.how to organize students into teams).

The Analyzing Requirements section addresses understanding client needs, determining the scope of the study, and identifying both type of information needed and sources of data available within the community. 

The Planning Project section provides information on how to identify tasks, establish milestones, and use the W/SA Project Management Resource Guide.

The Conducting the Analysis section includes step-by-step exercise procedures using ArcView and prepared data sets.

The Presenting Results section explains how to prepare layouts, plan presentations, critique the product, revise the analysis, and prepare final products.

So far, nine case studies have been developed and are available for use. A summary of each of the available case studies has been provided on the following pages of this report.

Obtaining Training Materials

A CD-ROM has been included on the inside back cover of this document that contains the Training Manual, case studies, and associated data sets developed.

All of the educational products the W/SA has developed are also available for download off the IGRE website: http://igre.emich.edu

To access the case studies and associated data sets, click on "GIS Case Studies".

The text of each of the case studies is in Acrobat Reader format (*.pdf), and sample data needed to complete the exercises is compressed in WinZip format (*.zip). A section entitled "Frequently Asked Questions" has also been provided to assist users. 


Here to NSF.

   Case Studies   

- Frequently Asked Questions for Case Studies

Contact Information   

    Dr. Yichun Xie   |  Ms. Beverly Hunter

(C) Copyright by IGRE, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197, USA
This page was updated on April 4th, 2005.