Geographic Information System (GIS)
This Specialization is for those new to mapping and GIS, as well as anyone looking to gain a better understanding of how it all works and why. You will learn practical skills that can be applied to your own work using cutting-edge software created by Esri Inc., the world’s leading GIS company and our industry partner.
Introduction to GIS Mapping
Get started learning about the fascinating and useful world of geographic information systems (GIS)! In this first course of the specialization GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis, you'll learn about what a GIS is, how to get started with the software yourself, how things we find in the real world can be represented on a map, how we record locations using coordinates, and how we can make a two-dimensional map from a three-dimensional Earth. In the course project, you will create your own GIS data by tracing geographic features from a satellite image for a location and theme of your choice. This course will give you a strong foundation in mapping and GIS that will give you the understanding you need to start working with GIS, and to succeed in the other courses in this specialization.This course is for anyone who wants to learn about mapping and GIS. You don't have to have any previous experience - just your curiosity! The course includes both practical software training and explanations of the concepts you need to know to make informed decisions as you start your journey to becoming a GIS analyst.
You will need a Windows computer with ArcGIS Desktop installed.
GIS Data Acquisition and Map Design
In this course, you will learn how to find GIS data for your own projects, and how to create a well-designed map that effectively communicates your message. The first section focuses on the basic building blocks of GIS data, so that you know what types of GIS files exist, and the implications of choosing one type over another. Next, we'll discuss metadata (which is information about a data set) so you know how to evaluate a data set before you decide to use it, as well as preparing data by merging and clipping files as needed. We'll then talk about how to take non-GIS data, such as a list of addresses, and convert it into "mappable" data using geocoding. Finally, you'll learn about how to take data that you have found and design a map using cartographic principles. In the course project, you will find your own data and create your own quantitative map.
Spatial Analysis and Satellite Imagery in a GIS
In this course, you will learn how to analyze map data using different data types and methods to answer geographic questions. First, you will learn how to filter a data set using different types of queries to find just the data you need to answer a particular question. Then, we will discuss simple yet powerful analysis methods that use vector data to find spatial relationships within and between data sets. In this section, you will also learn about how to use ModelBuilder, a simple but powerful tool for building analysis flowcharts that can then also be run as models. You will then learn how to find, understand, and use remotely sensed data such as satellite imagery, as a rich source of GIS data. You will then learn how to analyze raster data. Finally, you will complete your own project where you get to try out the new skills and tools you have learned about in this course.
GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis Capstone
In this capstone course, you will apply everything you have learned by designing and then completing your own GIS project. You will plan out your project by writing a brief proposal that explains what you plan to do and why. You will then find data for a topic and location of your choice, and perform analysis and create maps that allow you to try out different tools and data sets. The results of your work will be assembled into an Esri story map, which is a web site with maps, images, text, and video. The goal is for you to have a finished product that you can share, and that demonstrates what you have learned.
The courses are based on the idea that you will get the most out of the learning experience if you can tailor your work to your own interests. You will learn how to create GIS data, how to find and evaluate data found online, how to design an effective map, and how to filter data and analyze spatial relationships, and how to work with satellite imagery. In the capstone course, you will apply everything you have learned by either building a portfolio of your work through "mini projects" or planning and executing one large project. Your capstone work will then be presented in a web-based story map that you can share with your friends, family, and colleagues. This Specialization can be completed using Esri's free, web-based ArcGIS Online software. However, you will have the option of using Esri's more powerful Windows-based software, ArcGIS Desktop, to completing projects in the Honors track.
No prior knowledge is necessary to successfully complete the Specialization.