Jim Detwiler

Biography

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. I've also taught sections of GIS Programming and Mashups to undergraduates in residence at various times since fall 2003. My experience with GIS includes working on population-related research projects at Penn State's Population Research Institute, on E911 and cadastral projects at the Chester County (PA) Bureau of Land Records, and on climate- related projects at the University of Delaware. I think this broad experience helps me to relate to my students who use the technology in a wide array of contexts.

Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Fritz Kessler

Dr. Fritz Kessler has taught various online courses in the Master's of Geographic Information Systems at Penn State since 2007. He's also an avid cyclist and musician. Learn more about Dr. Kessler, see what he has to say about online education, and hear him play a tune on the mandolin.