Academic Curriculum

The Global Mapper Academic Curriculum is a series of hands-on instructional guides that provide step-by-step instructions on some of the key functions of the software. Free by request for any institute of higher education, these lab materials have been developed by Blue Marble Applications Specialists to facilitate the deployment of Global Mapper into the academic community, while introducing some of the fundamental principles of GIS.

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The academic labs are delivered as a series of PDF files that offer students the opportunity to follow a prescribed workflow to a defined conclusion. Each lab also includes a freeform exercise that requires participants to employ the knowledge and skills learned in the lab in a problem-solving scenario. The requisite data files are included and can be freely copied to each student’s computer. Lab participants should save any exported data or files in a local folder, which will provide instructors with the opportunity to assess the students’ work and to provide assistance as needed. Specific instructions are provided in the introduction to each lab.

Academic Curriculum Topics

The Global Mapper Academic Curriculum, updated in August of 2021, includes the following topics:

Lab 1 - Introduction to the Principles of GIS Angle right
This lab deals with the basic processes for adding spatial data to the map as well as the use of the Digitizer for creating, editing, and querying vector features. It also covers some simple raster processing procedures and discusses various options for exporting or sharing data.
Lab 2 - Generating a Terrain Surface and Creating Contours Using Lidar Data Angle right
This lab walks through the process of converting a Lidar point cloud into a gridded raster surface model. Along the way, it also covers Lidar editing, visualization options, and 3D modeling. The lab concludes with the creation and export of elevation contours in shapefile format.
Lab 3 - Working with Attributes and Creating a Thematic Map Angle right
The object of this lab is to introduce the key attribute management tools in Global Mapper. Specific workflows include joining external data, calculating attributes, and applying symbology that reflects variations or patterns in the attribute table.
Lab 4 - Rectifying an Image Angle right
Rectification is the process of applying geographic parameters to a simple image file. This lab covers several methods for rectifying a variety of images using online base-map datasets or known coordinates.
Lab 5 - Extracting Vector Features from a Raster Layer Angle right
In this lab, a variety of raster files are analyzed and vector polygons are created by identifying color or elevation ranges in the file. This vectorization process eliminates time-consuming digitizing or tracing that is usually employed when transposing vector features from aerial imagery.
Lab 6 - Creating a Watershed Model Angle right
This lab introduces the process of delineating drainage patterns and catchment areas from a terrain surface. Specific workflows include water drop analysis and outlining watershed boundaries.
Lab 7 - Lidar Classification and Extraction Angle right
Using publically available Lidar data, this lab walks through the process of identification and reclassification of points that comprise buildings and trees. The reclassified points are then used to extract 3D vector features.
Lab 8 - Raster Calculation Angle right
Raster Calculation involves applying a formula based on the values associated with each pixel in a raster layer. In this lab, we use near-infrared (NIR) and red bands from Landsat imagery to calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).
Lab 9 - Creating a Point Cloud Using the Pixels to Points Tool Angle right
Using UAV-captured images, this lab walks through the process of generating a photogrammetric point cloud, classifying the points, creating a digital terrain model, and generating contour lines.
Lab 10 - Suitability Analysis for a Solar Power Projects Angle right
This lab incorporates a variety of tools for the purpose of determining suitable locations for a solar power project. The workflow includes terrain analysis, raster classification, and vector analysis using spatial operations.
Lab 11 - 3D Change Detection Using Point Cloud Data Angle right
In this lab, we address the concept of change detection from two perspectives. We begin by comparing two point clouds to identify specific points that have moved or changed and then we analyze change over a wider area by comparing Digital Surface Models (DSM).
Lab 12 - Hydro-Flattening and Terrain Painting Angle right
This lab explores two variations on the theme of terrain modification. The process of hydro-flattening uses 3D vector features to alter the terrain during the gridding process, and terrain painting involves dynamically altering a terrain surface using a drawing process.

All lab participants must have access to a fully licensed version of Global Mapper. An evaluation copy does not include the level of functionality and data support required to complete all of the steps in the labs. For questions about software licensing and for information on academic licensing options that will allow concurrent use on multiple computers, email or call +1 207-622-4622.

The Global Mapper Academic Curriculum materials are distributed free of charge, however, access is restricted to educational institutions. If you would like to request a copy of these materials, please fill out the request form and upon approval, you will be provided with a link to download the files.

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