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International cooperation and technology transfer
Mussio, Luigi

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al concepts (1
• GIS, Spatial Data, and Exploratory tech
niques (2)
• Surveillance (1)
• Basic spatial statistics (2)
• Designer spatial statistics (1)
• Modelling (Hierarchical, Geostatistical and
Compartmental) (2)
• Elucidating process from pattern (3)
These topics served as the basis for the lec
tures in our first go-round, and the lectures
(and associated labs) were then converted into
the series of modules already described.
The course runs for 14 weeks, which allows us
to use a week or two at the end of the course
for exams and presentations of projects which
the students carry out in consultation with
the instructors. These presentations are an in
tegral part of the course, as they represent the
ability of the students to apply the concepts
which we study throughout the course. As the
course continues more and more presentations
will be available from the web site, providing
helpful guidence in the construction of others’
5.3 The Labs
The labs are designed to implement ideas from
lecture using software available to University
of Michigan students. In fact, however, all
the software used (with the exception of Ar-
cView) is available to everyone (either because
it is public-domain, a demo version exists, or
a time-limited executable is available). Thus,
the labs have some utility even if the user does
not currently own the software.
Two operating systems are used in class: Win
dows, and UNIX. Those without access to
UNIX will not be unduly limited, however,
as products exist permitting one to do sim
ilar things in Windows. For example, the geo
statistics lab comes in two flavors: one utiliz
ing Geo-EAS (a public-domain UNIX prod
uct), and the other utilizing GS+ (a Windows
product): either will get the general ideas
across. Consider another example: while we
use xv (a UNIX utility) to do our image file
conversion, many other packages exist under
Windows to do the same kinds of image con
The labs are perhaps the major strength of
our site: with some patience and time a user
can generally proceed through them on his or
her own. They complement the lecture top
ics, and give the student some hands-on ex
posure to applications of the ideas treated in
the modules.
5.4 Lecture and Lab Issues
We present many different software packages
for dealing with the quite vast array of tech
niques studied in the course: the web (to
start), followed by ArcView for GIS, xgobi for
ESDA, GS+ for geostatistics, Stella for com
partmental models, Stat! for spatial statistics,
Gamma for designer statistics, UNIX, ftp, tel
net, XWindows, etc.
Students have said that only three software
packages are essential to the course: ArcView,
Stat!, and Gamma; furthermore, they almost
unanimously agreed that they would prefer
to do more with fewer, rather then less with
more packages. Thus, as we prepare to run our
course for a second time we plan on reducing
the number of concepts introduced in lecture
while discussing them in greater depth, with
a consequent reduction in the lateral software
demands of the course, and an increase in the
range of treatment of a few selected pieces of
In spite of our sea change, all modules remain
on-line and available for the students whether
presented in our formal course or not. For ex
ample, if a student needs to understand as
pects of geostatistics for a class project, that
module may be studied on that student’s own
time (with some guidence, perhaps, from the
teacher). As students needs expand beyond
the current availability of modules, new mod
ules will be created (perhaps by the students