North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Colleges and Schools

Program Requirements

All School of Professional Studies degrees require a total of 120 semester hours of credit, which can be fulfilled through a combination of North Park classes and transfer credits. Learn more about program requirements for all our majors.

Bachelor of Arts in Location Intelligence

Students seeking a bachelor of arts (BA) in location intelligence will attain cutting-edge knowledge in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for solving spatial problems involving a wide variety of disciplines that could benefit from the use of GIS as a tool. The interdisciplinary curriculum blends a strong foundation of liberal arts with professional coursework which prepares students for a broad range of careers in the geospatial workforce.

Major Requirements

  • 36 semester hours of Location Intelligence courses: 3000, 3100, 3200, 3600, 3700, 3800, 4000, 4100, 4400, 4450
  • Recommended 20 semester hours of business core courses
  • Total 120 semester hours including core and elective courses

Location Intelligence Certificate

This 20-semester hour certificate program will provide foundational knowledge in the field of geospatial technologies and serves as a great compliment to other SPS majors.

Certificate Requirements

20 semester hours consisting of the following courses: 3100, 3200, 3600, 3800, 4100

Courses

For a complete list of all North Park’s programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

LOCI 3000, Fundamentals of Smart Maps and Location Intelligence (4 sh)

An introduction to the fundamentals of smart maps and location intelligence, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), cartography, remote sensing, and fundamental spatial analysis through a series of hands-on computer-based exercises. Participants will learn how to utilize geospatial technology principles to address human, social and urban issues. This course is designed to be used as a survey course to complement other disciplines. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. May be waived for those with work experience in the geospatial community.

LOCI 3100, The Art and Science of Map Design: Geo-Visualization (4 sh)

This course introduces fundamental cartographic concepts. Successful students will be able to employ design principles to create and edit effective visual representations of data (e.g. maps, graphs, and diagrams) in different formats (e.g. hardcopy, digital, web).  Specific topics include the ethical and appropriate application of map scale, map projections, generalization, and symbolization. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. This is the first required course in the Location Intelligence Certificate Program. Prerequisite of LOCI 3000, equivalent, or permission of program advisor required.

LOCI 3200, Learning to Apply GIS Software (4 sh)

An introduction to the basics of the industry-standard GIS software through a series of hands-on computer-based exercises. Participants will learn how to utilize the software to address a variety of global issues. Open source GIS software will also be introduced. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Required course for the Location Intelligence Certificate Program. Prerequisite of LOCI 3100 or permission of program advisor required.

LOCI 3600, Introduction to Remote Sensing Technologies (4 sh)

This course is an introduction to remote sensing techniques used to study the Earth. Topics include the physical principles on which remote sensing is based, history and future trends, sensors and their characteristics, image data sources and image classification, and interpretation and analysis techniques. A brief introduction to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their use in mapping is presented. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Required course for the Location Intelligence Certificate Program. Prerequisite of LOCI 3100 or permission of program advisor required.

LOCI 3700, Databases and Spatial Data Management (4 sh)

This course addresses the interpretation and understanding of a variety of spatial data formats used by geospatial professionals.  It introduces the fundamental concepts such as primary GIS data creation, database creation, data management, and discusses quantitative techniques for the collection, classification, integration, and management of geographical data. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Prerequisite of LOCI 3200.

LOCI 3800, Spatial Analysis (4 sh)

This course introduces students to problem-solving and decision-making processes using geospatial analysis techniques, applicable to a range of disciplines. The student will prepare spatial data for analysis, determine an approach to solving spatial problems, run geoprocessing tools and implement models to run several tools in sequence, organize data sets resulting from the analysis and present the results using appropriate terminology and visualizations. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Required final course for the Location Intelligence Certificate Program. Prerequisite of LOCI 3200.

LOCI 4000, Development of Web Apps (4 sh)

This course involves the design, creation, configuration, and optimization of geospatial servers and applications to deliver content across the Internet.  The student will construct applications to be developed as services with a variety of user interfaces. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Prerequisite of LOCI 3200.

LOCI 4100, Spatial Programming: Python (4 sh)

This course provides an understanding of how to customize GIS software applications by way of modified toolbars, menus, and buttons. Topics include the theory and implementation of the various scripting languages currently in use, including Python.  Upon completion, students will be able to solve geospatial problems and streamline GIS workflows through the creation and modification of scripts, including the use of ModelBuilder. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Required course for the Location Intelligence Certificate Program. Prerequisite of LOCI 3800.

LOCI 4400, Geospatial Practicum (2 sh)

A structured practical experience in a supervised professional work setting that is related to the student’s specific career interests.  Practical experience is under the guidance of faculty and the internship supervisor. Students will work under the direction of a qualified professional with a focus on geospatial technology. The practicum provides students with an overview of procedural, professional, and ethical issues faced by a geospatial technician on the job. Students will prepare a summary presentation. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Prerequisite of LOCI 3800 required.

LOCI 4450, Geospatial Capstone Seminar (2 sh)

The geospatial capstone seminar is a learning experience resulting in a consolidation of a student’s educational experience and certifies mastery of entry level workplace geospatial competencies. The seminar should occur during the last semester of the student’s educational program. Methods of providing a practicum experience may include, but are not limited to: a) a final learning experience that allows a student to apply broad knowledge of the discipline similar to a senior thesis experience by way of a case study, b) a course involving simulation of the workplace, case studies, portfolios, and employment scenarios that graduates may face in a workforce situation, or c) a summative project involving research in the student’s area of interest that solves a practical spatial problem.  Students will learn how to compile, analyze, and present geospatial data while emphasizing the value of visual communication. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists. Prerequisite of LOCI 3800 required.