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Home GIS 40
GIS 40 - Introduction to GIS

GIS 40 - Course Introduction

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Course Requirements

The basic requirement for this course is that you arrive on time to each class meeting and are prepared to stay for the entire session. You are responsible for all material discussed in lecture and lab. Write down questions you have about the material while reading and studying and bring them up for clarification in class.

Access to a computer and the Internet is an important component of this class. You will have approximately 3 hours of class time each week to complete your labs. If you run out of time in the lab, please feel free to use the lab during open lab hours at the Petaluma Computing Labs.

Note: If you decide to drop the class, please follow the procedures outlined in the current Schedule of Classes. If you miss more than one class in a row (i.e., an unexcused absence) and do not officially drop the course at the Admissions and Records office, you will likely earn an "F" letter grade.

Recommended: A working knowledge of the IBM compatible computer system is highly advised.

Please consult the Schedule of Classes to identify important deadlines on the College Calendar, such as adding or dropping classes and applying for the Credit/No Credit option.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Define the elements of a geographic information system (GIS)
  2. Describe the applications of GIS for different disciplines
  3. Create a GIS using image, geographic and database information


  1. List the primary functions of a GIS.
  2. Understand elementary spatial analysis of data.
  3. Define image, geographic and database methods of representing data.
  4. Describe the differences between CAD and GIS.
  5. Use different types of graphic symbols.
  6. List and identify different file structures and their advantages and disadvantages.
  7. Describe data storage, editing and retrieval techniques used in a GIS.
  8. Create a GIS using image, geographic and database information.


Lab Hours

Petaluma Campus Computer Lab Schedule (778-3905 or 778-3954)

If you need to work on a GIS assignment outside of class time and do not have access to a computer at work or home, you can access the ArcGIS program in PET 641 (Campus Open Lab). The hours of availability are Monday through Thursday 9:00 am - 7:50 pm and Friday 9:00 am - 1:00 p.m.

You will not have access to the network, so you must use a USB flash drive if you want to transfer data.

Assignments and Examinations

Assignments are announced in class and posted on this web site. Check back frequently for updates.

Your grade is based on the total number of points you accumulate with respect to the total number of points possible.

Available Points:

  • Individual Assignments worth 5-15 points each - total of 100 points.
  • 2 worksheets worth 25 points each
  • An individual project worth 100 points
  • Midterm test is equal to 100 points
  • Final exam is worth 150 points
    • The date for the exam is December 21st

Grade Policy

Your grade is based on the total number of points you accumulate with respect to the total number of points possible and final grades are based on the following percentages:

Percentage Grade
90 - 100% A
80 - 89% B
70 - 79% C
60 - 69% D
< 59% F

Contact Information

Kevin Lacefield
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