GEOG 868
Spatial Database Management

Instructor Information


Instructor Information

Contact Information - Jim Detwiler

Jim Detwiler photo

2217 EES Building
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814) 865-2932 (The country code for the United States is 1)
Email: jed124 (at)
Twitter: @DetwilerPSU

AVAILABILITY: Students are welcome to contact me by email any time; I am usually able to respond within 24 hours. If you are a student registered for the course, please use the Canvas email system for course-related correspondence, as I prefer to keep those messages separated from my other email. I am also happy to speak to students over the phone, though it is best to set up an appointment for a phone call.

Welcome to the course!

Hi, I'm Jim Detwiler, your instructor for the next ten weeks. I've been teaching 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 and several certificates that enable students to focus on application areas of interest to them. I serve as the faculty lead for the Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development Certificate Program. I'm very proud to be associated with these programs, both in terms of the faculty involved and the adult professionals who enroll in them.

I currently teach and maintain the content of GEOG 863: Web Application Development and GEOG 868: Spatial Database Management. I also teach and make minor contributions to GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Automation and GEOG 489: Advanced Python Programming. And I sometimes teach courses on these topics for undergraduates in residence.

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.

Rather than further rehash information that I've made available on other pages, I'll just point you to my work portfolio if you'd like to read more about me. I look forward to getting to know you over the next ten weeks and helping you to learn the course material.

Best of luck in the course!