Global Mapper 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. These lab documents 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.

Global Mapper is ideally suited to meet the GIS needs of most faculty and students, especially those for whom GIS is a necessary component of a broader field of study. By balancing powerful GIS data processing and analysis functionality with simplicity of design, Global Mapper allows teachers to focus on the practical application of spatial technology rather than spend valuable classroom time teaching students how to operate the software.

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 are required to 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.

GIS Curriculum Topics

The Global Mapper Academic Curriculum includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Principles of GIS

    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.

  • Generating a Terrain Surface and Creating Contours using LiDAR Data

    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.

  • Working with Attributes and Creating a Thematic Map

    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.

  • Rectifying an Image

    Rectification is the process for 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.

  • Extracting Vector Features from a Raster Layer

    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 can eliminate time-consuming digitizing or tracing that is usually employed when transposing vector features from aerial imagery.

  • Creating a Watershed Model

    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.

  • LiDAR Classification and Extraction

    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.

  • Using the Raster Calculator

    Raster Calculation involves numeric calculation based on the values associated with each pixel in a raster layer. In this lab we use the NIR and red bands from Landsat imagery to calculate NDVI.

  • 3D Analysis from UAV images

    Using UAV-captured images, this lab walks through the process of generating a photogrammetric point cloud, reclassifying points, and creating a digital terrain model and contour lines from a point cloud.

All lab participants must have access to a fully licensed version of Global Mapper. An evaluation copy does not include the degree 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 submission, you will be provided with a link to download the files.