GEOG 485:
GIS Programming and Automation

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Welcome to GEOG 485 - GIS Programming and Automation

New to GEOG 485?

Registered students - if this is your first visit to this course website, please take some time to become familiar with the assignments and course environment by going to the Course Orientation.

This website provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The Resources menu links to important supporting materials, while the Lesson menu links to the course lessons. ANGEL, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course, as well, as it provides the primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.

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Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Online Geospatial Education programs is available at the Geospatial Education Program Office.


Quick Facts about GEOG 485

  • Instructors: Fall 2015 (July-October) - James O'Brien
                         Fall-2 2015 (October-December) - Jan Oliver Wallgrün
  • Course Structure: Online, 10-15 hours a week for 10 weeks
  • Overview: GEOG 485 is one of several courses students may choose as their final course that leads to Penn State's Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. It can also be applied toward the Penn State Geospatial Intelligence Graduate Certificate and Master of Geographic Information Systems degree. In Geog 485 students learn to use the Python scripting language to automate GIS tasks in ArcView. No previous programming experience is assumed. Students who successfully complete the course are able to assemble ArcView geoprocessing tools into models to solve GIS problems, and run the tools from scripts to automate GIS tasks. Geography 485 requires use of Esri's ArcView 10.x software. We recommend version 10.1 or 10.2 but version 10.0 is also still possible and the new 10.3 is expected to work. Prerequisite: GEOG 484 or equivalent experience.

This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and reuse materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.