Welcome to Sierra College

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)




Geography Classes


Instructor Notes


Events / Instructors



What is GIS?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has taken map making to a whole new level. Before the advent of computers, what you saw is what you got on static paper maps. Yet look around you and think of all the information you can capture. It's much more than can be represented on paper maps. Today this collection of information can be stored within a computer: as map layers, individual features, accurate locations, and different map scales & projections. Furthermore, a GIS can maintain attributes about map features, such as a road's width, surface and condition. The list is huge. Finally you can plot maps to reveal patterns or solve spatial problems, such as tracking criminal activity or deciding where to build a subdivision that avoids sensitive lands. The sky is the limit for GIS uses.
Who does this?
Firefighters, policemen, emergency rescuers, land developers, realtors, land conservationist, land-use planners, transportation dispatchers, hazardous material personnel, telephone and utility planners, public health officials, biologist, geologist, geographers, journalist, meteorologist, engineers.... You name it. If a map or database is needed, you'll need a person with the skills to use GIS.
What should I do?
Sierra College currently has seven (7) GIS classes and the possibility for an internship. You can start by taking Geography 85 - "Applications of GIS and Related Technology." This class introduces you to the people who do GIS in the real world using case studies. You'll also learn about Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology in the field as well as Remote Sensing. Or take Geography 90 - "Introduction to GIS," which teaches you the nuts & bolts of GIS in a semester. Or finally take a short weekend course to learn the GIS software used throughout the industry (Geography 91A & B). Intermediate & Advanced GIS now offered.


Sean Booth, Director
Phone # (916) 781-0437


GIS Links