Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

GIS: Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a technological, problem-solving tool with applications only limited to one's imagination. It is a system designed to answer questions in the sciences, resource management and development planning as well as in a host of other areas. Employers view GIS knowledge and experience as a valuable tool for employees and applicants, giving job candidates a competitive edge.

Without realizing it, people experience GIS applications every day from the GPS systems in their cars to seeing a news story on the projection of how the flu is likely to spread. Even determining traffic flow during construction in a certain area of the city involves GIS. Learn more about what Pennsylvania colleges and universities are doing with GIS. 

CCAC is collaborating with faculty, administrators, external GIS experts from Allegheny County, regional four-year institutions and the Local Government Academy to make GIS opportunities available to faculty and students as a way to enhance any academic program. The initiative is managed by the Local, County & State Government Relations and Special Projects department.

3-Credit GIS Course Being Offered in Spring 2014
The new 3-credit GIS course: CIT108-NC71 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems is being offered this spring at the North Campus and would make a suitable choice for a general computer elective. The course will meet Mondays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. and will provide students with a solid foundation of the principles and applications of GIS. Please visit CCAC Central e-Services for a detailed course search, schedule and registration.

GIS Development Committee
Chair of the GIS Development Committee, CCAC computer and information technology professor Richard Greene, continues to work with members to expand GIS course offerings at CCAC and to increase access to GIS databases in ways useful particularly to CCAC's disciplines. Recently, he has been working with CCAC's Alumni Affairs Office on mapping ideas that would assist their work.

Existing GIS Data Collection Project
Professor Greene and the GIS Development Committee continue work on populating GIS case studies on coursework for faculty and administrators who have access. The collection is small but growing and will expand by geography and by topic. Currently, topics that faculty wish to pursue include: health, obesity, researching existing case studies to support other projects, distribution of CIT alumni and current students, energy (including areas within Marcellus Shale) and politics. Topic suggestions and inquiries about getting involved can be sent to Professor Greene at

What Pennsylvania Colleges & Universities Are Doing with GIS

Carnegie Mellon University:
Electronic Maps Pin Point Childhood Obesity Areas

Chatham University:
Chatham College Expands Technology Initiatives Across Curriculum
Chatham Hosts High-tech Mapping GIS Day

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania:
BA in Geographic Information Science

Community College of Philadelphia:
GIS Technicians Are Becoming Invaluable Resources
Academic Courses in GIS

Penn State University:
Penn State Online Geospatial Education

Robert Morris University:
Introductory GIS Course

Indiana University of Pennsylvania:
Department of Geography & Regional Planning

University of Pittsburgh:
GIS Task Force