GIS Programming and Automation

Course Description

Bill Gates is credited with saying he would "hire a lazy person to do a difficult job" with the justification that "a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." GEOG 485 doesn't teach the lazy way to get the job done, but it does teach the scripting way _ which is arguably even better. You've probably heard the "give a fish"/"teach to fish" saying? That's the gist of GEOG 485: to equip you, in an ArcGIS context, with the ModelBuilder and Python scripting skills to make your boring, repetitive geoprocessing tasks easier, quicker and automatic _ so you can focus on the more interesting (potentially more valuable) work that you (and your employers) really want you to be doing.

This course is part of the following programs: Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems, Masters of Geographic Information Systems, and Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security.

Online Course

You can view the entire course here: GIS Programming and Software Development (GEOG 485)

Download Course Files

Click this link and fill out a short form to begin your download: Download GIS Programming and Software Development (GEOG 485) Course Files
Jim Detwiler

Hi, I'm Jim Detwiler. I've been an instructor in the Geography Department's online GIS program since 2000. Back then, we had just a one-year, non-credit certificate program with few electives. Today, we offer a Master of GIS degree with numerous electives that enable students to focus on application areas of interest to them. I'm very proud to be associated with this program, both in terms of the faculty involved and the adult professionals who enroll in it. Since joining the online geospatial program, I have authored and taught GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Customization (a VBA/ArcObjects course that's now retired), GEOG 489: GIS Application Development, GEOG 863: GIS Mashups and GEOG 897D: Spatial Database Management, first offered in 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2012, respectively.

James O'Brien

I got involved in GIS in 1993 but via a slightly different path perhaps to most people. A year earlier I'd been introduced to GIS at a university promotional event where it was described as "Computing and Environmental Studies." Intrigued at how the two could be combined, I went along, listened, liked what I heard and selected GIS as my undergraduate degree. That degree, combining GIS with a solid background in Computing Science, led to me being employed as a computer programmer, hardware technician, cartographer and a few other things along the way.

Sterling Quinn

Sterling Quinn is an author and an instructor for GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Customization. He works as a product engineer on the ArcGIS Server development team at Esri and lives in the Olympia, Washington area. His interests include web map optimization, cloud computing, and technical communication. He has also experienced much online learning from the perspective of a student, having completed the MGIS degree from Penn State in 2009.

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