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11.521 Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems | Urban Studies and Planning

11.521 Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems | Urban Studies and Planning

This semester long subject (11.521) is divided into two halves. The first half focuses on learning spatial database management techniques and methods and the second half focuses on using these skills to address a 'real world,' client-oriented planning problem. The first half of the semester may be taken separately using the class number 11.523 and the second half may be taken separately as 11.524. In order to help shape and utilize the information infrastructure that will support the management and development of our metropolitan areas, planners need a basic understanding of the tools and technology for querying, analyzing, and sharing complex databases and maps. Managing online access to large and constantly-changing spatial datasets can be a powerful aid to planning and can facilitate inter-agency cooperation and collaboration in an increasingly decentralized world. But it requires the use of knowledge representation methods, client-server technologies and access control issues that are quite different from what are needed to model and visualize standalone datasets on a personal computer. Hence, planners should acquire basic skills in database management, digital spatial data analysis, and networking. The 11.523 portion of the semester addresses these issues while retaining a focus on planning (rather than on computer science). This is an intensive, hands-on class that stresses learning by doing. Exercises and examples involving real-world data, maps, and im

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