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GEOGRPH-110 - Maps and Spatial Reasoning - Michael Carson

Course:Maps and Spatial Reasoning
Professor:Michael Carson
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 8 Week
  • 16 Week


Hi Prospective Geography 110 Students,

I am Michael Carson and will be your instructor for Maps and Spatial Reasoning for the semester. This course will help you develop your spatial reasoning skills through a variety of maps, spatial science concepts, and geospatial technologies like Geographic Information Systems.  We will cover topics in map reading, map analysis, and map interpretation.

Course Description

Develops spatial reasoning skills through a survey of maps, spatial science concepts, and geospatial technologies. Topics include geospatial information, navigation, map projections, symbolization, misuse of maps, and analysis of spatial data. This course will feature Online delivery via Canvas.

What to Expect in this Course

The details of this course will be provided in the course syllabus on the first day of class. The course will be broken up into weekly modules in Canvas covering material from chapters in your text books. There will be weekly exercises, writing assignments, discussing board questions, and quizzes/exams to complete by deadlines posted in the syllabus. There will also be weekly synchronous office hours on Zoom should you need to talk with me one-on-one. You can also communicate with me through the Canvas inbox, campus email, or even text via cellphone.

If you are new to Canvas, visit this student training guide.

Types of Assessments

Weekly exercises, written assignments, discussion board questions, quizzes, and final exam.

Textbook Information

You will need to purchase two books:

Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation, A. Jon Kimberling, Aileen R. Buckley, Phillip C. Muehrcke, and Juliana O. Muehrcke, ESRI Press, 2016 (8th edition), Paperback: ISBN 9781589484429, E-book: ISBN 9781589484696

How to Lie With Maps, Mark Monmonier, University of Chicago Press, 2018 (3rd edition), Paperback: ISBN 9780226435923, E-book: ISBN 9780226436081

Both books come in paperback and E-book versions. You can purchase both books from the campus bookstore,, or May I suggest you get the E-book version of Map Use since the paperback version weighs over 5 pounds! Also through you can purchase the Map Use E-book for 60 days (8 week course) or 120 days (16 week course) to keep costs down. If you are going to purchase the paperback versions of the books, it is very important that you purchase them as soon as possible so that you will have them for the first week of class. For the E-book versions you can purchase them a day or two before the first week of class to maximize the number of days purchased.  Get a head start on your reading and read the introduction and chapters 1-3 from Map Use and chapters 1-2 from How to Lie With Maps before the first week.

Other Relevant Course Information

Keep in mind that taking an online course will take up more of your time than a traditional in-person class, so make sure you allocate enough time each week for your studies. The 8 week version of this course is a condensed version of a regular 16 week semester length course.  The condensed course requires a high degree of time management skills on your part as well as good online skills.  You are expected to handle a substantial workload so plan on this course taking at least 10-12 hours per week of your time.

The course's Canvas page will become available to you the first week of class. In the mean time I recommend reading the introduction and chapters 1-3 in the Map Use and chapters 1-2 in How to Lie With Maps. As soon as you have access to Canvas you are welcome to begin working on the first week's assignments on the Modules page. Also make sure to review the class syllabus on the Syllabus page for more detailed information on the class, class policies, what is expected of you, the tentative class schedule, grading, assignments, and test dates.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

Michael Carson
Geography/GIS Instructor
College of the Canyons

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 09/12/2023 Sub#: 1654