Required Text

DeMers, M. N. (1999). Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.


Required Skills

This course requires that students have expertise in and access to the following:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • ArcView
  • Microsoft Access
  • Your computer's operating system
  • Your computer's Internet system including browser.

Further, each student is required to have completed the prerequisites for this course which are GIS 1 and GIS 2 or equivalent. Students are also required to have ArcView and database software loaded on the computers to be used for this course; the University will not provide this software as part of this course.


Course Objective

This course is intended as a core background for the use of GIS in professional careers. It is expected that individuals taking this class have already been exposed to GIS at an introductory level. Students should also have experience in a Windows environment, be familiar with the internet and have experience with Microsoft's spreadsheet and database programs (Excel, Access). There will be readings from the main book, supplemental text for some weeks, and assignments given weekly. Upon completion of this course the student should have a good understanding on complex GIS topics and some procedures.

Since this is an internet-based course, all assignments and questions will be submitted via e-mail. This is a ten-week course, but assignments may be completed in any order. However, I will require you to complete the weeks leading up to the Midterm and Final Exam before I administer them.



Grades will be determined by using the following percentages.

  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Exercises 40%
  • Final Exam 30%

Student collaboration is an extremely useful learning technique. One of the goals of this class will be to develop these interactions across the Internet. However, any indication of cheating will be dealt with as per the policy of the California State University, Bakersfield Academic Policies.



DeMers 98-120

Class Handout: Week 1

AV Help Topics: "Points and Event Themes", "Polygons", "Regions"

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 1a
Exercise 1b

DeMers 84-98

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 2

DeMers 151-153

Class Handouts: Week3 parts 1-3

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 3

DeMers 57-68

Class Handout: Week 4

AV Help Topic: "Projections"

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 4

DeMers 21-47

Class Handout: Week5

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 5


Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam

Text Instructions

Midterm (2,413KB)

DeMers 157-178

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 7

DeMers 329-357

Class Handout: Week 8

AV Help Topic: "Polygon Operations"

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 8

DeMers 322-324

AV Help Topic: "What is Geocoding?"

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 9

AV Help Topic: "Hot link"

Complete and Submit:

Exercise 10


Text Instructions

Final (2,572KB)


Online class procedures

Questions and comments are encouraged. Send them to me via the following e-mail address Also send completed exercises and classwork to the same address. I expect to respond most e-mail questions and comments within two days. Expect corrected homework to be e-mailed back to you within 3-4 days.



Adam Cabrera, GIS Specialist/Analyst, Kern County Superintendent of Schools

Adam has been working in the field since 1992. He is currently working on his degree in Computer Science at California State University, Bakersfield. He is involved in both Kern URISA and the ESRI User's Group. Adam recently had the honor of being published in ESRI's 1999 Map Book for a project looking at child care and the spatial relationship between care facilities and welfare recipients.


Virus Protection

Since you may be downloading files from the Internet or from other media, you should be aware that there is a potential for these files to contain viruses that may infect and damage your computers data (and even damage your equipment). This course has taken every means to protect students from viruses, but students should also be aware that virus infections remain an ongoing problem of file exchanges in the Information Age. It is recommended that you have a good, working antivirus program in place prior to beginning this course. If not, I recommend you implement such a program before proceeding. For antivirus software check out the site of McAfee at, or consider acquiring software from another reputable software.


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