Course Introduction
An applied research seminar focused on the broader issues of what a contemporary information model is + approaches to modeling the dynamic complexities of a city, in addition to the the more specific issues of urban modeling initiatives developing in partnership with Skidmore,Owings + Merrill, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the City of Chicago’s open data program.The class schedule will be roughly broken up into 4 phases.  The first section will bring students up to speed with current and progressive understanding of what a digital model is today.  During which time students will be working on definining/capturing a set of data particular to Chicago and developing a structure for it’s use and dissemination.  The second phase of the course will involve students with the structures + workflows particular to the aforementioned Chicago city model initiative.  This will include broader exposition of the technical and organizational issues surrounding cityGIS.  During this time students will be individually completing case study research of specific issues, for city models around the world.  The second half of the semester will be oriented specifically at the production of team based projects. In the third quarter the course will expose students to the question of what comes out of the model, looking generally at data mining + analysis and spatial analytic practices with specific examples including the use of standardized sustainability analysis.  During the second half students will work in teams to create final projects which either rethink or extend the initial data acquisition projects to integrated data sets and operable analyses using the Chicago city model.  Prior to the final quarter of the class schedule students will have designed their model contributions and created detailed specifications for it’s productive use.  In the final phase of the course students will realize products of their model’s use with class time spent reviewing progress with faculty, other students.

Course objectives

  • To learn basic prinicples of object oriented development
  • To investigate concepts and methodologies of semantic modeling
  • To investigate concepts and methodologies of networks, graphs, + topologies
  • To learn the fundamentals of data schema development
  • To explore ways of modeling urban conditions
  • To explore ways of analyzing urban conditions using geo-spatial technologies
  • To learn basic 2d + 3d gis techniques
  • To learn new modes of digital presentation
  • To learn how to teach yourself
  • To develop more efficient modes of production to facilitate group projects

Course structure
The course is an advanced seminar course in applied research.  Lectures, guest presentations, workshops, exercises, and class discussions will drive the development of skills and processes.  The semester will be broken into four phases; what is a city model, the chicago city model, mining + making, modeling chicago.  Each phase will see the development of some part or whole project focused on the urban information modeling of chicago.  The culmination of the semester will see group projects documented for public presentation.

Project and Assignments
Over the course of the semester students will complete 4 projects. In some cases students may be given the opportunity to work in groups or individually. Each project will have a formally outlined set of technical criteria that will be evaluated for completion. In addition, the students project designs will be evaluated for uniqueness + craft. Project points will awarded as such: project 1 – 20 points, project 2 – 15 points, project 3 – 30 points, project 4 -30 points.

Readings + Journal
There will be a select number of mandatory readings or websites to visit, and where appropriate additional optional texts or areas of investigation. As a seminar course it is expected that students have thoroughly read the material and are able to speak to the issues of the text in class discussions. Additionally students will be required to cultivate the class blog with posts related to the topics of the class. These blog posts will be recorded and evaluated for quality. Each quality post will be given one pt. Students may accumulate up to 15 points for blog posts.

Letter Grades will be administered based on the above mentioned criteria, with a percentage grade determined by the total points accumulated to those available

The professor will take attendance at the beginning of every class. If you are late for the class without a legitimate excuse (see student handbook) this will count as half an absence. 2 unexcused absences will cause your final grade to be reduced by one letter grade, 3 unexcused absences will result in failure of the course.

All students will be required to keep a backup copy of their work on Zip Disk, CD/DVD, or Micro drive. In the event that the server goes down or work is lost due to some computer failure the student will be expected to produce a backup copy of the work. Failure to produce a backup copy will result in a failing grade for the assignment. There will be no exceptions to these rules.

Americans with Disabilities (ada)
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities.  In order to receive accommodations, students must go through the Center for Disability Resources office. The Center for Disability Resources (CDR) is located in Life Sciences Room 218, telephone 312 567.5744 or