Design and development of GIS software applications

Software engineering, OO and components models, programming in VBA/ArcObjects for ArcGIS 8.x/9™

Brochure (not available) Registration module (not available)


Classes, objects and object collection [Author: Ezio Crestaz]The course aims at introducing to VBA (Visual Basic for Applications)/ ArcObjects programming for ArcGIS 8x/9, after a preliminary review of fundamental principles of OO (Object Oriented) and COM (COMponents-based) models. Course will specifically address programming issues related to geographical data management and querying, in the framework of the new geodatabase model, and geodata analysis. ArcGIS 8/9™ is the new leading standard in GI industry, supporting advanced integration in the main IT stream also thanks to its new component-based architecture and geographical database model (geodatabase). In this framework, old-style ArcView 3.x™ script language Avenue leaves its place to more advanced programming paradigms and standards, including VBA, Visual Basic and Visual C++; these languages support full access to software platform features by accessing the components library ArcObjects.

The course is part of a wider GIScience learning project, addressing both introductory and advanced issues, including a specialization path in environmental applications development and management, with interests spanning through such different fields as geology, environmental sciences, urban planning, land use, IT, just to recall few of them.



Detailed course program, based on a mixed theory and hands-on formula, follows:

Introduction to software engineering and programming Object and components-based programmino models: fundamentals reviewed in JAVA/BlueJ Programming fundamentals, VBA (Visual Basic for Application) and spatial analysis case studies VBA/Arcobjects for ArcGIS 8/9™ programming and prototype development


Suite di Office Automation MsOffice™, RDBMS MsAccess™ (, JAVA™™ (, and VBA™ programming languages (, Bluej™ ( for JAVA™, GIS ArcGIS 8x/9™ (


Who is it for?

The course is well suited for people involved, at both technical and managerial responsibility level, in the design and development of geospatial applications focused on spatial data management, analysis and modelling. University students, enrolled in the last year of their degree course, and recently graduated people can equally benefit from the course. Many different application sectors can highly benefit from the completely new perspective of this course, including urban planning, natural, geological and environmental sciences, Information Technology.

Prerequisite is an in-depth knowledge of PC environment and MsOffice ä software package, as well as basic knowledge of GIScience foundations and ESRI ArcView 3.x™ and/or ArcGIS 8/9™. It is recommended that attending people are genuinely interested in applications development issue. No previous programming experience is assumed, also if previous experience in programming (i.e. in a traditional procedural language environment) can undoubtedly help to make learning path smoother.


Location & dates

The course will take place at the Environmental Education Centre Casa Archilei , located in Fano (PU) and easily accessible from major transport links. The course will have a duration of 48 hours, with 8 hours lessons, on 17-18 April, 15-16 May and 12-13 June 2009.



Course fees are 1300€ + VAT (20%), to be paid in a unique instalment before starting date. Fees are reduced to 1200€ + VAT (20%) for participants with their own notebook. Further fees reduction is applicable, based on conditions stated below.


Registration before March 15th, 2009
Participants in previous GIScience courses promoted by
Students regularly enrolled in degree, post-degree and Phd courses at italian or foreign universities at the moment of registration
Education Institutions, public and private companies enrolling more than one person










At the end of the course, participants attending at least 70% of the lessons will be awarded a Completion certificate.


Didactic material

Documentation about course relevant issues, source code in JAVA, VBA and VBA/ArcObjects will be made available to participants on optical media. The course adopts the following textbook, included in registration fees: Burke R., 2003. Getting to know ArcObjects – Programming ArcGIS with VBA. ESRI Press, Redlands, California (including a CDROM with a complete collection of ArcObjects models, input and output geodata used in exercises).

Scientific literature and Web resources on software engineering issues, JAVA and VBA applications development, design and programming of geographical applications, personalization of general purpose GIS software platfroms, are extremely wide. Few textbooks are recommende here below:

Applications developed in the framework of the last edition of the course, currently under revision in the framework of a publication project, will be reviewed. They actually include specialistic examples related to geological and environmental sciences, land use and socio-economic fields, ranging from regionalization, autocorrelation indexes computation, advanced 3D geodata visualisation and GUIs development.

Participants can access a trial copy of ArcGIS™ buying the textbook:

Ormsby T., Napoleon E., Burke R., Groessl C. e Feaster L., 2001. Getting to know ArcGIS desktop: basics of ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo. ESRI Press (include CDROM con una copia trial di ArcGIS™ valida per 180 giorni).



For further information, please refer to Email address or refer to contact references at Contacts section of web site .

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Last update 11/09/2010