An Integrated Approach


What is GIS?

Geographic Information Science combines computer-based data management systems with the people who ask questions about how people, places, and things are located and interact around the world. Cartography, Information Science (technology), and Geography are the main subject areas needed in a GIS environment. Enterprise systems contain one or more central databases that serve information to a connected network of computers in several areas of interest. GIS also refers to the Geographic Information Systems that are used as the technology piece within the science of geographic information.


How does a Geographic Information System work?

ORACLE and SQL Servers are the two main engines that store, manage and retrieve data for GIS users. Data is stored in raster or vector format. Raster data includes digital images from satellites, airplane fly-overs, and "digitized" maps and other electronically collected information. Vector data includes points, lines, and areas (polygons) that have been collected or created with a software application for display on a digital map. Many components make up the digital map, one being the spatial (geographical) reference to placement on the earth's surface. The map is displayed based on scale and projection, according to federal or state standards. In addition to vector or raster data, attribute information referencing more detailed specifications such as names, size, common and unique identifiers.


Who uses GIS?

People who use GIS in their work include those in Natural Sciences, Computer Sciences, Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers. Historians and Marketing Agents use GIS for site selection and developing protective boundaries around specific locations based on unique criteria relevant to each project.
Metadata documentation provides how and when data was created, restrictions to its use, along with information useful in locating the most current and correct data source.

How do I learn more about GIS?


Fairleigh Dickinson University offers Undergraduate, Graduate and Continuing Education courses for the study of GIS. The School of Administrative Science offers an online class in GIS and Emergency Administration. The Office of Continuing Education offers ORACLE Database Administration Workshops in preparation for the ORACLE DB Administration Certification Exam.

Many web sites offer basic  understanding of GIS and allow interactive use of multi-media mapping services. Follow the links in the right-hand column of this page. The New Jersey Geospatial Forum, a collection of GIS users in NJ who come together each quarter and in task forces to build a cohesive GIS Community.

Coming Soon: Specialization in GIS

Community College Partnership
18-credit Undergraduate program

Visual Basic.NET


Visual Basic is the code used in most Computer Software Applications that work on the Microsoft Platform.

Inquiries for this course may be directed to Joan Leder, Sr. Program Director, Office of Continuing Education


Call 1-201-692-6500 for information

 VB.NET for SQL Server



Dr. Harvey Lowy, Computer Sciences, will teach the code needed for most VB.NET SQL Server applications.




Students must have prior programming experience in some language. There is no need to have prior Visual Basic experience but this cannot be the very first programming class.



The student will learn the fundamentals of VB.NET 2008. The class will concentrate on the programming concepts and will include lab time to allow the students hands-on to write VB.NET 2008 programs. Each student will have their own PC and be able to access it without interference from anyone else. The last part of the class introduces SQLSERVER 2005 and we show how to create and insert tables in a database. If time permits, accessing SQL in a VB.NET program will also be covered.

Call 1-800-338-3887 for Registration Details


Each Fall Semester, Dr. Lowy teaches the online course: Enterprise Computing, available for Audit and Continuing Education Units.

Walking 3,003 miles for the Heroes of Ground Zero


08Journey911 FULL

(c) 2010 Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Maps produced in collaboration of E.S.R.I. Tom Patterson with F.D.U. Joan Leder 2007 and 2008