GIS and Spatial Analysis in Parks, Recreation Tourism & Sport


PRT 505: GIS and Spatial Analysis in Parks, Recreation Tourism & Sport – Yu-Fai Leung, PhD

Course Description:
Spatial reasoning and GIS are increasingly important tools for evaluation and research in many fields of study, including parks, recreation, tourism and sport (PRTS). This course is intended to provide masters-level students with the opportunity to increase their ability of spatial reasoning and develop basic skills of handling, evaluating and analyzing spatial data in common geographic information systems (GIS) platforms. Through this experience students would be able to enhance understanding of conceptual foundations of PRTS fields from the spatial perspective, to make more informed spatial decisions in planning and management of PRTS resources and services, and to be intelligent users of spatial data and GIS tools for research and evaluation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define geographic information science, GIS and GPS and articulate their relevance to the PRTS fields.
  2. Describe and explain the basic concepts and typology of spatial reasoning and spatial analysis.
  3. Identify spatial data sources and acquire data relevant to the field of PRTS.
  4. Collect and integrate spatial data from various data sources (field collection, Internet, etc.)
  5. Perform basic operations in GIS (ArcGIS), digital earth software (Google Earth) and widely accessible GPS units (Garmin).
  6. Formulate meaningful spatial questions and implement a conceptual model to solve the questions in the GIS environment.
  7. Communicate spatial analysis results effectively with peers via different media.

Reflections and Summary of my work toward developing these competencies:

GIS was not something I was familiar with before taking this class. I had used GPS as a tool to find locations of interest, but had never thought about its relevance to the field PRTS. I completed three ESRI virtual Campus Online Course which gave me an introduction to GIS, a basic understanding of spatial concepts, and fundamental skills of operating ARC GIS.
During the first week we created a website for presenting information for upcoming assignments.  Assignment 1 (part 2) PRT 505Part 2 required me to develop spatial reasoning and evaluation skills by performing a systematic comparison of publicly accessible spatial information about a county or municipal park in my area. In order to complete this assignment I  evaluated spatial information obtained from various data sources.  This assignment included data collection, evaluation,and analysis. The techniques  that I learned during this assignment carried over to numerous other assignments,projects, and DB’s throughout the course of the program. Assignment three GIS Assignmet3 gave further opportunities to practice ArcGIS operating skills, and apply them to creating a targeted promotional campaign for a recreational product. As a future parks and recreation professional knowing the demographics of my  customers is critical to serving the  needs and wants of the communities I serve. Assignment GIS_Assign4 required handling and communicating spatial data between ArcGIS and Google Earth. Having a working knowledge of ArcGIS and Google Earth can be useful in determining what areas parks are needed and ways build parks with the goal of sustainability and accessibility.