GEOG 484
Final Project

GEOG 484 Student Readiness Self-Assess


Offered by: Penn State's Online Programs in Geographic Information Systems

Penn State's Certificate Program in GIS is an 11-credit program that students can complete in one year by completing one class per term. The Certificate Program curriculum is equivalent to the first year of the 35-credit Master of GIS (MGIS) degree program.

The typical first year schedule that our students follow is:

GEOG 482: The Nature of Geographic Information (2 credits)
GEOG 483: Problem Solving with GIS (3 credits)
GEOG 484: GIS Database Development (3 credits)*
GEOG elective (3 credits)
*final project opt-out option - follow link at left to GEOG 484 Mastery Project: Introduction

Before you enroll in GEOG 484 without having taken GEOG 483 you should:

GEOG 483: Problem Solving with GIS Learning Objectives

  • Map GIS data using a coordinate system appropriate for its end use.
  • Symbolize geographic features.
  • Perform spatial and attribute queries.
  • Extract coordinate system information from metadata.
  • Define a relational database in basic terms.
  • Distinguish between feature attribute tables and external attribute tables.
  • Describe table cardinality and its importance in making associations between tables.
  • Perform tabular joins and relates using key fields.
  • Perform mass table updates using SQL.
  • Update feature geometry values (area, perimeter, length).
  • Create thematic maps.
  • Perform spatial analysis using buffer zones.
  • Use geoprocessing operations (dissolve, merge, clip, intersect, union) to produce new datasets.
  • Overlay various map layers for optimal feature display.
  • Describe address geocoding and provide examples of its use.
  • Locate addresses on a map using geocoding tools.
  • Apply the concepts of visual hierarchy and color theory to compose a presentation-quality map.
  • Label map features and use labeling variables (type size, weight, and font) effectively.
  • Add map elements (scale bar, north arrow, title, insets, etc.) to create presentation-quality maps.
  • Discuss map presentation media and methods.
  • Describe the difference between discrete and continuous data.
  • Convert between vector and raster data formats.
  • Create hillshade and aspect layers from elevation data.
  • Perform distance calculations.
  • Reclassify continuous surface grids into discrete categories.
  • Perform map algebra calculations.
  • Create workflows demonstrating skills learned in the course with outlined steps, procedures and data necessary for a GIS project.

Aspects of the ESRI ArcGIS environment you should be familiar with

  • The difference a GIS between dataset and a Map Document file
  • Folder/file navigation within ArcCatalog and ArcMap
  • Aspects of ArcMap: table of contents, data frame, adding data, accessing toolbars, the Data and Layout views, Extension activation