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GIS 250
GIS Databases

Revised: January, 2014
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: due to increased spam my email address will be provided the first day of class
Class Web Page:
Textbook: GIS Tutorial 3: Advanced Workbook by Allen and Coffey, ISBN 978-1-58948-207-4, ESRI Press. Search using the title, author, or ISBN for pricing at various discounters/used book dealers.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: GIS Databases. Emphasis on creating, using, editing, and managing spatial and attribute data in a geodatabase. Lectures and hands-on will emphasize loading data into geodatabases, defining domains, subtypes, and relationship classes. Applications of geodatabases and geodatabase management will be explored. Prerequisiste: GIS 205.

Welcome to GIS Databases. We will cover geodatabase design, implementation, management, and more. This class is project oriented but also includes substantial discussion and hands on lab components. This class assumes you have significant GIS background and a thorough understanding of how to use ArcMap and ArcCatalog. If you have any questions concerning which class is best for you please contact me for assistance.

The weekly chapter readings, links to supplemental readings, and the most significant assignments are listed in the schedule below. Assignments are due the week after they have been assigned. Additional assignments may be given from time to time depending on class progress with due dates noted when the assignments are given. To complete assignments students may use open GBC computer labs at some of the GBC Centers or, if available, use your own computer and appropriate software.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class will be taught via Internet using GBC's web instructional delivery system. You are expected to participate in the weekly discussions (whether live or on-line), various assignments, the exams, and other class activities.

I can be reached via Web Campus and email, at the phone number listed above, via Skype or, you can make an appointment to see me. My office hours are posted on my office door and on my website. The schedule of readings, assignments, homework, and tests can be found below. Additional assignments will be given in the class discussions or through postings on this class's Web Campus site.


The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. plan, organize, & create geodatabases;
  2. view & edit geodatabases;
  3. import & export data to and from geodatabases;
  4. manipulate & analyse spatial data in geodatabases; and
  5. know how spatial & attribute data differ yet work together in a geodatabase.
Learner Outcome Measurements
Measurement Method Learner Outcomes
Class Discussion 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Assignments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Project 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


GRADING POLICY: This is a letter grade class an A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% or less or W=Official Withdrawal if done before the withdrawal deadline. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 30% on assignments, 30% on discussions, and 40% on class project. All assignments are due by the beginning of the next class unless otherwise indicated by the instructor when they are assigned.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. Three (3) unexcused absences can result in a failing grade, in an on-line class an absence is one week when you do not participate in class or contact the instructor.

OTHER POLICIES: The student rights & responsibilities policy stated in the current GBC Catalog apply to this class. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. This syllabus is not a contract and is subject to reasonable changes as the class proceeds.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Great Basin College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A qualified student must furnish current verification of disability. The Director of Services for Students with Disabilities will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing the appropriate and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. For more information or further assistance, please call (775) 753-2271.


You should have read and be prepared to discuss each week's topics by the beginning of class. We will have significant hands on experiences with many lessons. Please note: the web site to download the course data listed in the text is obsolete; the correct URI is and you will need to use your ESRI global account to access this site. That is the same account used to access ESRI ArcGIS lab modules.

*Readings, topics, major assignments, & quizzes/exams by week:
(Please note: the following schedule is subject to change based on class progress)
Week Chapter Topic Assignments
1 handout relational database management an organizational context
2 Chap. 1 design a geodatabase schema Tutorials 1 & 2
3 Chap. 2 create a geodatabase Tutorials 1 & 2
4 Chap. 3 populate a geodatabase Tutorials 1 & 2
 5 Chap. 4 geodatabase features Tutorials 1 & 2
6 Chap. 5 topology & geodatabases Tutorials 1 & 2
7 Chap. 6 customize the interface Tutorials 1 & 2
8 Chap. 7 automate procedures Tutorials 1 & 2
9 Chap. 8 labels & annotations Tutorials 1 & 2
10 Chap. 9 cartographic techniques Tutorials 1 & 2
11   Begin class project proposal due
12   Class project cont'd design your schema
13   Class project cont'd create your geodatabase
14   Class project cont'd collect your data &
populate your geodatabase
15   Class project cont'd perform your analysis
& create your maps
16   Class project due  

Creative Commons License
Original content on this website created by Ed Nickel
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at

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