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GIS I: Introduction to GIS

The ability to analyze and manipulate spatial data is critical across many industries, including urban planning, healthcare, agriculture, mining, trade, environmental science, and military intelligence. The demand for skilled GIS analysts is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years, as this specialized area of data analysis is leveraged in an expanding number of fields.

In this introductory course, you will learn the fundamentals of geographic information systems (GIS). Upon completion of the course, you will be able to display, analyze, and store spatial data using GIS, as well as use the different components of ArcGIS, including ArcCatalog, ArcMap, and ArcToolbox. This course also includes an overview of GIS applications in many different industries.

Topics include:

  • Cartography and spatial data display
  • Querying data for spatial and attribute selections
  • Data formats for GIS
  • Spatial data analysis tools
  • Editing and storing spatial and attribute data
  • Map projections and coordinate systems
  • Online map creation
  • Geocoding

Practical experience:
Multiple hands-on assignments using ArcGIS, covering:

  • Map design
  • Spatial data analysis
  • Digitizing and editing data
  • Geodatabases
  • ArcGIS Online

Course typically offered: Online in Fall and Spring

Software: Students will use ArcGIS by ESRI in this course, and a license for this software is included with purchase of the required textbook. A computer with a native Windows operating system is required to run ArcGIS; the software will not work properly on a Mac computer, even if you have configured your system to dual-boot or otherwise run Windows.

Prerequisites: Strong familiarity with Windows required.

Next steps: Upon completion of this course, consider taking GIS II: Spatial Analysis to continue learning.

Contact: For more information about this course, please contact unex-techdata@ucsd.edu.


  • COURSE NUMBER  CSE-40991
  • CREDIT  3.00 unit(s)


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