Introduction to ArcGIS


This three-day course covers the fundamental GIS concepts that beginning users have needed for years. With the assistance of many GIS professionals this course content was defined, reviewed, prototyped and finalized. Students learn how to query a GIS database, manipulate tabular data, edit spatial and attribute data, and present data clearly and efficiently using maps and charts. Students also learn how to work with tables, create graph & reports, learn how to perform powerful analysis. Participants learn how to use ArcMap™, ArcCatalog™, and ArcToolbox™ and explore how these applications work together to provide a complete GIS software solution. This class uses a variety of data.


This course is for any user who is new to ArcGIS and new to geographic information systems in general. It is also a very effective review for self-taught users and often fills in  knowledge gaps. 

Prerequisites and recommendations

Participants should know how to use windowing software, be familiar with file management (copying and moving files), and be confident in mouse and keyboard use.


·  What is GIS?
·  Display feature and tabular data
·  Work with georeferenced spatial data
·  Query features using logical expressions
·  Find features using spatial relationships
·  Edit spatial and attribute data
·  Associate tables with joins
·  Produce maps, reports, and graphs

Topics covered

·  What is GIS? A brief discussion
·  What can GIS do? Short examples
·  What is a Map? Defining a map -- one of the main goals of GIS actions
·  ArcGIS overview: Capabilities and applications; Interacting with the interface; Basic display
·  Spatial data concepts: Representing spatial data and descriptive information; Different formats
·  Using the Help system:
·  Managing your data: Using ArcCatalog and Metadata; Editing feature and attribute data
·  ArcGIS data model: GeoDatabases; Shapefiles; Coverages; Feature types; Attributes
·  Spatial coordinate systems and map projections:

·  Georeferencing data; What map projections are; How ArcMap works with map projections
·  Analyzing data: Selecting and identifying features; Buffers; Overlays
·  Tables: Managing; Joining
·  Map displays and output: Creating; Symbolizing; Scaling; Adding map elements; Plotting tips
·  Editing feature and attribute data
·  Adding X/Y data
·  Calculating acres
·  Graphs & Reports
·  Working with Annotation

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