Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for GEO 242 Effective Spring 2021

Course Number:
GEO 242
Course Title:
GIS Programming
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the fundamentals of computer science in the context of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Covers concepts used in automating mapping procedures, handling different types of data, and building custom functions using ESRI's ArcGIS software platform. Provides opportunities to understand the dynamic inner workings of GIS using Python scripting language. Prerequisites: GEO 265, and (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students will be able to: 

  1. Apply basic computer programming fundamentals to GIS.
  2. Write scripts using the Python programming language.
  3. Automate and design custom tools for GIS.

Course Activities and Design

The materials in this course will be presented in a computer lab setting through classroom 
lecture, discussion, software demonstration, peer critique, and computer-based labs. 
Other methods may be implemented such as small group work and in-class activities. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, competencies and skills by any combination of the following: 

  • Written results of class labs and exercises 
  • Completion of a midterm exam 
  • Completion of a final project
  • In-class discussions
  • Troubleshooting and Debugging scripts

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Demonstrate proficiency and comprehension of the most relevant scripting languages used within a GIS 
  • Understand theoretical considerations of GIS scripting with regards to working with spatial data, especially with the concepts of scale and projections 
  • Develop original scripts and tools within a GIS to process spatial data 
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate GIS software with other software platforms. 
  • Demonstrate proficiencies in resolving errors with GIS programs and scripts