Geography 360
Principles of Cartography

Lab Guidelines
Spring 2010

Teaching Assistants:

Muthatha Ramanathan (
Office Hours: T/Thu, 10:30-11:30 at Smith 411

Hong Chen (
Office Hours: M/W, 11:30-12:30 at Smith 411

Computer Labs Policy

The Smith 401 Sherman Lab is divided into two seating areas. One area is called the “window-side” and the other is the “printer-side”, with an aisle separating the two. All students attending a course section are to sit on the window-side of the room when in lab section. The printer-side of the room is for drop-in use.

The lab section enrollment is based upon the number of workstations on the window-side of the room. Learning proceeds better with fewer distractions. When a lab section is in session, only students in that section will be permitted on the window-side of the room. All other students should move before the section starts to the drop-in (printer-side) area.

Students in the drop-in area should not talk when a lab section is in session. If students must talk then they should use workstations in the Smith 411 Commons Area or the Smith 415C Collaboratory area, as these were set up for those purposes. Should students not abide by these guidelines, an instructor has the authority to ask a student to leave the lab.

The instructors would like to make the Geography learning experience as effective as possible, and we thank you for your cooperation in helping us do that. Please do not hesitate to ask Prof. Nyerges if you have any questions about this policy.

When students attend a lab section, please do not log onto the computers until the TA says it is time to do so. This will allow the TA to be able to talk about critical learning issues and provide other instructions while not having the students distracted by their computers.

No food or drink is allowed in the Sherman Lab (or the COLLAB or at the machines in The Commons). Cell phones must be turned off in the computer labs. Please keep the areas around your workstation clear so your TA can walk between the rows of computers and other students can move around the Lab. Students are expected to work patiently and quietly in the lab.

You have been provided a printing quota to print out materials for this class. Your quota for the quarter is 200 pages of black & white and 10 pages of color printing. You are asked to help control printing costs by not printing unnecessarily. Use Print Preview as much as possible to review your work before printing. Because of the limit on color printing, please keep these 10 pages for the final projects. Do not print out Web pages unless absolutely necessary and check your files to be sure you aren’t printing widow blank pages with your documents (common problem is an extra paragraph return or page break at the end of a document that forces a blank page). One easy work-around is to highlight and copy material from the website and paste it into Word. Visit the Geography Department Web Site for our current printing policy at

Session Guidelines

Your TA may schedule all or some office hours in Sherman Lab or the COLLAB. Office hours scheduled in Sherman Lab or COLLAB will be posted on the lab door. Posted office hours in Sherman Lab do not necessarily reserve the lab for your section or class exclusive use. The Lab is open for general use during posted TA office hours; however, your TA will have one or two machines reserved to work with you and answer questions. While all GEOG 360 students are welcome to work during any of the TA office hours and ask any of the GEOG 360 TAs for assistance, the TAs will give priority to students assigned to their sections. Students will be limited to 10-minute TA consultations during office hours if other students are waiting with questions. Additional office hours can be scheduled by appointment.

We encourage you to work together to become familiar with the software you will be using. However, unless the project specifically requires work in groups or in pairs, the work you turn in for grading must be your own work. On those assignments that require partners or group work, the names of each participant must be included on the portions of the work to which they contributed.

You are strongly encouraged to keep a journal of what you are learning about the software. Your journal should include your notes about what you have learned about operating the software (i.e. where do you find commands, how do you control a software function, what do commands do, etc). Keep all of the project instructions in your journal for future reference; they will be very helpful for your final project and for future GIS classes.

You may wish to maintain a class-learning portfolio of your completed Lab Projects beginning with Project 2. Requirements and instructions will be provided with Project 2.

All work turned in for grading must be typed (no handwritten or drawn work will be accepted) unless specifically noted otherwise in the Project instructions. Most of the projects require an essay about the project you have completed. Your essays must be well organized, typed, properly formatted, spell checked and proofed for college level academic grammar. Be sure your essay includes your name, the class name, Project number, the date and an appropriate title at the top of the first page. Do not submit loose papers for grading. Either staple all of your work together (no paper clips, glue, crimped or folded corners) or bind your work together in a report cover.

Student folders located in S:\ are private but may be accessed by the class TAs. Always save your work when working on the computer and SAVE OFTEN! Be sure to log off the computer at the end of a work session. Delete the files from your folder for completed work. You may wish to save your files either on a removable disk or by transferring the files to your Dante account, as these folders will be deleted at the end of the quarter.

Each student will need a UW NetID and an email account. We expect you to check your email regularly (we recommend daily) for timely class information and to facilitate class discussion. You will need a UW NetID to open an account on the Geography Department computers. If you do not have a UW E-mail account and UW NetID, talk to your TA immediately for a temporary logon and instructions to get your accounts set up. Important information will be communicated during lab time. It is the student’s responsibility to attend every section. If you miss either lecture or section it is your responsibility to get the information discussed from one of your peers.

You should expect to spend 2 to 4 additional hours per week beyond the time allocated during section to complete the lab projects. Section time will be used to explain projects and answer questions but will not generally allow sufficient time to complete your projects. Additional lab time is available throughout the week to complete your computer assignments. A lab schedule will be posted on the Geography Department Web site (click on Tech Resources and follow the links) and on the door of Sherman Lab that will indicate available lab hours for general use. You may also work on your projects in The Commons and in the COLLAB. Please be aware that the computer labs get very busy during the last week or two of the quarter, so don’t leave work until the last minute. Additional general computer lab time may be scheduled in the evenings and on Saturday as the quarter progresses. Your TA will announce when additional hours may become available.

All projects are due at the beginning of section according to the dates assigned on the course syllabus. Projects may be submitted one day late but grades will be automatically dropped 5 points. Projects submitted later than one day will not be graded without permission from the instructor who will grade the assignment. A doctor’s note will be required to verify illness. The map design part of projects 1-4 can be reworked, based on TA comments, and be re-submitted for re-grading one week following the day the assignment is returned to the class. When resubmitting an assignment you must include the previously reviewed submittal with your TAs comments. Partially completed projects will not be accepted for grading. If for some reason you cannot complete a project by the due date you must see your TA prior to the project due date.

Additional Resources

If you are not comfortable working in a Windows environment, you are highly encouraged to go to CSSCR (Center for Social Science Computation and Research) on the 6th floor of Condon Hall for assistance and program tutorials. You can visit the center’s website at to find out what services they offer. In addition, at you can find a course catalogue for inexpensive, short courses on many basic computer programs (e.g. Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, Photoshop, PageMaker).

We also strongly recommend students make use of the Geography Writing Center (located in Smith 415). The staff there can help you with organizing and proofing your assignments, making them read better and potentially get higher grades. The service is FREE and only by appointment.