Foundational Skills in Web-Based Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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Summer 2018 quarter (Second Session)

Taught by

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), field deployment, workflow analysis


No prerequisites. Students should be familiar with web browsers, mainly Chrome and Firefox, and comfortable with office automation apps for spreadsheet management.  

Many students have experienced the technology of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to create maps with standalone desktop computers. This class extends the use of maps and GIS technology into the world wide web.  Students will learn how to create, optimize, and disseminate maps and spatial information using a standard web-browser interface such as Chrome or Firefox and the mapping system of ArcGIS Online ( ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based mapping platform created by Esri, Inc. ArcGIS Online is increasingly used to create and publish web-maps and interactive "story maps" that support social awareness, and place spatial data in cultural and social context.  No  previous GIS experience in required. 

Students will create web-maps from a variety of GIS data sources, and learn to combine and optimize spatial data layers available on the web. Students will publish their own data layers to design and disseminate "story maps" using available templates, javascript toolsets, and data-sharing security. Students will learn best-practices for optimizing and sharing their maps on the web, with attention to security of data and maps, map performance, and methods for publishing maps and apps on mobile devices and webpages.  An exercise in field data collection will teach students how to set up their smartphone to collect field data, by synchronizing their devices instantaneously with their web maps. 

A subscription license to ArcGIS Online will be issued to all students (at no charge).  Access to most exercises will be possible using any computer with reliable internet bandwidth. The provided ArcGIS Online license will be available to students after the class concludes, to enable their further work in research and other needs, for the duration of the student's involvement with TESC.  

Program Details

Fields of Study

computer science environmental studies geography

Preparatory For

Geographic Information Systems. Online mapping is increasingly used in government policy and dissemination of public information by state, federal, municipal and tribal organizations.  Web-mapping skills are often needed for careers in environmental policy and conservation, public health, state information dissemination, and a wide variety of non-profit and non governmental ("NGO") organizations. 


Summer Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm (includes a lunch break)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning