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Certificate In Geographic Information Systems
A GIS integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.
A good intro to GIS can be found here.

In 2013 I completed Penn State's GIS Program. Over one year, I took the following graduate level courses:

The Nature of Geographic Information
This class was about gaining fluency in GIS and geographic concepts. Topics included: coordinate systems and map projections, Census data and thematic mapping, geocoding and georegistering, topology, surveying, GPS, remote sensing, and acquiring geographic data. The National Spatial Data Infrastructure was also discussed.

I produced reports on: plotting coordinates & projections, creating & interpreting maps, and acquiring geographic data.

Problem Solving with GIS
This next class built on the first by solving common geographic problems. Using ArcGIS, I performed a wide range of tasks within the context of a variety of scenarios. Spatial and attribute queries, performing calculations, tabular joins and relates, geoprocessing operations, and design layout of thematic maps were major topics. Raster analysis and reclassification were also performed.

I produced reports on: GIS Decision Support, Manipulating and Summarizing Attribute Data, Analyzing Spatial Data, Address Geocoding, Raster GIS Analysis, and more.

GIS Database Development
This comprehensive course focused on geographic data and culminated in a four week team project. The class explored database design and implementation through weekly project assignments. Digitization, creation of metadata, georeferencing, error identification and data correction were major topics.

The final project was a mock proposal to create a historical database for a city. Our team georeferenced and digitized historical Sanborn maps, created metadata and produced thematic maps.

GIS Programming and Automation
Finally, this elective class expanded upon the previous work by automating tasks in ArcGIS using the Python scripting language. Programming concepts such as objects, classes, inheritance, functions, modules, and decision structures were re-introduced.

I produced the following Python scripts:
  1. creates contours (isolines) from a raster digital elevation model
  2. performs batch reprojection on vector datasets
  3. aggregates points into a feature class & defines priority by zone
  4. reads coordinates from an unsorted .csv & writes polylines to a shapefile
  5. Final project - parses a KML & writes the geometry & attributes to a feature class. Click here to review the project.