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USP 186/187: Senior Sequence : GIS / Poster Info

Library resources for the USP Senior Sequence, arranged by Area of Concentration.

SRP Spatial Analysis Documents

Here you will find documents that relate to your SRP & its spatial analysis component.  

GIS Reference Books

There are a few key books that may be helpful for doing your GIS work. Some books can ONLY be accessed in the Data & GIS Lab while others are available for checkout. Refer to Roger or ask a librarian if you need assistance.  

More help with your SRP...

Your library staff is here working hard to help you be successful.  Be sure to check out Kelly Smith's guide to urban studies research!

The 'Spatial' in your SRP

Since spatial analysis and GIS will be optional but highly recommended with the Senior Sequence, here are some resources to get you started. As an urban studies major, GIS is a critical skill. It could even be the one that will get you a job! 

You're not on your own - there are several ways you can get up to speed with GIS so if you are feeling unsure about how to apply GIS to your senior research project (SRP), don't fear.  We've designed the class to require you to start to think about this from the very beginning so you've already gotten a start on this! 

First, take at look at the documents and guides made for you in the SRP Spatial Analysis Documents box on this page. 

Second, think more closely about the types of questions you are going to be asking for your SRP. This thought process, added to the who, what, when and where section of the assignment will give you several excellent ideas as to what different GIS data layers might be appropriate to use for your spatial analysis, and might be involved with your spatial analysis. 

Lastly, write down your ideas for data layers and spatial analysis - don't try to remember them for later!!!

Free SRP Poster Printing Requirements

In order to get free printing of your SRP poster, you will need to include a discussion of your spatial analysis and create at least one map document that illustrates your spatial analysis discussion. This means that you actually need to do the GIS work yourself!  

Using a map created by SanGIS, SANDAG or anyone other than yourself does not meet this requirement!

Here are the specifics about what you need to do:

Mapping Requirement

  • Create at least one map document with at least three GIS data layers
  • The map document should utilize at least one of the following methods of spatial analysis: select by location, select by attribute or buffer
    • Note: Geocoding does not meet a spatial analysis requirement, but may be a necessary initial step to your analysis.
    • Note: Joining tables does not meet a spatial analysis requirement, but may be a necessary initial step to your analysis.
    • Note: If you do a more sophisticated analysis, you do not need to have done a select by location, select by attribute or buffer.  
  • Ensure that your map document has all required map elements.

Spatial Analysis Discussion

As you move through your SRP research, you will continually delve into the questions of who, what, when, where and how. This will feed significantly into the spatial analysis discussion portion of your SRP. While it does not need to be excessively long or detailed, it does need to address the relationship between the important elements of your SRP, and why the geographic location of those elements can be important.


    • Provide your FINAL poster to Mike Smith and Amy Work in the library's Data & GIS Lab by March 7th at 6pm via email. If you turn your poster in after this time there is no guarantee it will be printed by the time you should be hanging up your posters on March 14th for the Urban Expo. Posters WILL be printed in the order they were received. You should provide the following information when you submit your poster as a PDF via email. Posters must be submitted as PDFs. If you are not able to email it to Mike ( and Amy (, you should save it to a flash drive and deliver it to the Data and GIS Lab addressed to Mike and Amy. 
      • Your name
      • Your UCSD email
      • The size and orientation you want your poster to be (it can be no more than 42 inches on its longest side and you need to say if it should be portrait or landscape orientation)
      • A checklist that confirms that your poster, or the map itself, has all of the required map elements listed below:
        • Title
        • Legend for map
        • North arrow
        • Scale bar or scale text
        • Text stating 
          • Creator
          • Date
          • Data source attribution i.e. ESRI, SanGIS, etc.
          • Limitations on use of data, if any
  • Mike or Amy will email you a confirmation to your UCSD email after she has received and successfully opened the poster document. If you do not get an email response, we have not received your poster. It is up to you to follow up. Large documents might not go through. One way to check this is send a separate follow-up email stating that you have sent your poster. 
  • Mike or Amy will send you an email when your poster is printed and ready to be picked up in the Data and GIS Lab. It is anticipated that all posters will be printed by 5 pm on March 13th.  

Recommended for a high quality poster:  

  • First, you need to be proficient enough with GIS to do the vast majority of the GIS spatial analysis ON YOUR OWN.  If you are not feeling up to it skill-set wise, you should do the Senior Sequence Tutorial to get up to speed.
  • Second, you should either meet with Amy, or have a solid clear idea of how you are using GIS for your SRP. You should be aware that if you don't meet the mapping requirement found above, you WILL NOT get your poster printed for free. It simply isn't fair to your other classmates who put in the thought, time, and effort.
  • Third, refer to the poster tips already presented to you and others located on this page.
  • Fourth, please recognize that these requirements are not intended to be harsh; rather, they are intended to be realistic and give you a true picture of what spatial analysis is, and what it is not.