Northern Illinois University's Advanced Geospatial Laboratory Develops Virtual GIS Notebook with Intergraph Education Grant

Education program developed using Intergraph technology provides a new learning resource for IGUC members

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Jan. 14, 2004 - Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions today announced the Advanced Geospatial Laboratory of Northern Illinois University, an Intergraph Registered Research Laboratory, has completed development of a Web-based Virtual GIS Notebook that promotes GIS studies. The project, funded and supported through Intergraph's Education Grant Program, was recognized at GeoSpatial World 2003 with a Best Practices Award to laud innovative geospatial programs in the classroom. The notebook was designed as a resource for individuals with little or no GIS experience and is an exclusive privilege of Intergraph GeoSpatial User Community (IGUC) membership. The online notebook contains all the information needed to assist those with an interest in learning more about GIS. It includes the basics of GIS - from data input to management, from analysis to map and Web presentation - the uses of GIS and GIS research and development topics. To use the Virtual GIS Notebook, IGUC members can simply visit and log in with their member number.

A flexible tool that can enrich GIS understanding in corporate environments, the notebook provides a structured easy-to-understand primer using common terminology and pictures, diagrams and screen captures from Intergraph's GeoMedia(R) Professional product to more easily explain GIS processes. An ideal resource across corporate, individual or education environments, the notebook has accompanying presentations that highlight specific subject matter and include chapter quizzes to test acquired knowledge. The notebook can be modified for workforce development in conjunction with an organization's local datasets. Also, ideal for distance learning environments, the material can be used at a teacher's direction or can be viewed at an individual's own pace via the Internet. The notebook is expected to be used in the geography curriculum on the Northern Illinois University campus.

Completion of the materials will take an average of 60 hours and equates to 1.5 education points toward GISCI certification. More information is available at

Undergraduate and graduate students directed by Philip Young, Research Associate of the Advanced Geospatial Laboratory of Northern Illinois University, wrote sections of the notebook, as well as provided information validation and field work. Young commented, "We created the Virtual GIS Notebook to fill a void in educational tools available for those with little or no understanding of GIS. An entry-level professional or a high school or college student could pick this up, and by the end of the notebook, understand the fundamentals of GIS."

"We are so pleased to have the Virtual GIS Notebook available to help us educate people on the importance of GIS," said Fiona Hopkinson, Education Program Manager, Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions. "Its adaptable format provides corporate and academic environments with a flexible tool to cultivate GIS understanding."

For information on free IGUC membership, please visit For additional information about Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions for Education, visit For information about free educational site-wide and research licenses, visit or

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Rita Roberts, Media Relations
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