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2019 GIS Class Registration Deadline

March 8, 2019


Classes from March 19 – May 21

Cost: $500


A ten-week course to learn the basics of GIS technologies (Geographic Information Systems), with a focus on the industry-standard ArcGIS platform by ESRI. Classes will be held every Tuesday from March 19th-May 21st from 6-8 PM.

We will utilize lecture, hands on tutorials in the program, readings and application with a Community Project and Partner.

Topics covered will include:

  • Week 1 : Introduction – course overview, components and uses
  • Week 2 : GIS 101 – vocabulary and good habits
  • Week 3 : Map Design & Outputs
  • Week 4 : Data: Collecting, Importing, Cleaning, Using, Storing
  • Week 5 : Spatial Data Processing*
  • Week 6 : Spatial Analyst
  • Week 7 : GIS Extensions
  • Week 8 : Digitizing, Geocoding, & ArcGIS Online
  • Week 9 : Project Work Time/ Questions
  • Week 10: Project Presentations


Frequently Asked Questions:

What do I need?

  • We use the text “GIS Tutorial 1, 10.3 Edition” by Kurland and Gorr. There are electronic versions available, but this is a great reference book and it can be easier to have something to flip through when you need a reminder of what you’ve learned.
  • A free trial of the software is ONLY available with a brand new version of the book (since ESRI is moving to ArcGIS Pro), for 180 days will get you through the class if you are looking to evaluate the system and determine future use. Alternatively, if you would like to purchase a personal copy of the software, ESRI offers a personal and nonprofit license for $100/year though the text will still be required (when you buy the official license from ESRI, you have the ability to download either the 10.x version OR the PRO version). We will only talk about the 10.x version in this class.
  • An external hard drive or jump drive with at least 1GB of free space.
  • Plan to have your own Laptop and ArcGIS software for the course. The desktop version of this software (which is what this class will focus on) only works in the Windows Operating System. So, if you have a Mac, you can run a Windows virtual machine through your Mac or try and borrow a PC.
  • This is a hefty program, so your computer should have sufficient memory and power to run – a slow computer will frustrate you more than anything else.

If I don’t own a laptop, can I borrow one?

  • There are 3 desktops on location (with ArcGIS pre-installed) for students who cannot provide their own computer but this means you will only be able to work during the class hours or by special arrangement and will need to reach out to request this before signing up for the class.

What should I expect?

  • This professional development class is designed so that students can work at their own pace. We will work to get you familiar with concepts and tools during the class time, and provide ample time to work on modules while we are available to help troubleshoot and answer questions. That said, the more time you are able to commit to finishing the in class exercises and applying what you’ve learned in a practical project, the more you will retain.
  • Each year, we adjust the class based on feedback of previous students to ensure you get a strong understanding of the system, its potential for use in your field of interest or work, and a starting point for data and analytics.
  • We work to solidify the individual lessons through project application – if you have a project in mind, we can work with you to make that happen, if you need a project, we will connect you with a community partner who may need some support – as mentioned, the more you use it, the easier it gets and the project is a great way to apply what you learn.
  • We get that this is something extra and we want to make sure it is worth your time. If you have additional questions, or need more time, we can work with you so that you don’t get overwhelmed. We also want to make it fun, we provide snacks during each class and spend plenty of time commiserating over the challenges of clean data and imperfect technology.

Do you offer a flexible payment schedule?

  • If you are interested in a flexible payment schedule or need to pay in installments, just let us know and we can make arrangements. Email shequaya@groundedpgh.org.

What kind of projects can I do?

  • The only limitations for project applications are your commitment to time and access to the data. We can work to connect you to  many data sources, but occasionally due to privacy concerns or disconnected systems, certain data may be hard to obtain – such as detailed crime or health information – but we will do our best to help you work on something that is relevant to you.

Is there a certificate for completing this course?

  • While this course is not accredited in any way, we will provide a certificate to acknowledge your completion of study. Successful completion includes the expectation of attendance in all classes (or making up the work if you miss it), successful completion of all assignments, and an applied project to be on the final day of class (along with pizza and beer to celebrate!).




March 8, 2019
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Grounded Strategies’ Office
6587 Hamilton Ave.
Pittsburgh, 15206 United States
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Grounded Strategies