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TeachMeGIS curriculum, KCGIS Center instructor

See also Intermediate GIS Concepts and Data Management in the Geodatabase

Two-Day Class
15 hours

Registration & fee required

Continuing education units (CEUs): 1.5

GISCI educational achievement points: 0.375


King Street Center,
Computer Training Room

No sessions are scheduled. Instead, the King County GIS Center is now teaching Introduction to ArcGIS Pro. However, you can arrange to have Fundamentals of ArcGIS (for ArcGIS 10.x) taught to your team by special request. Please see our Custom & on-site training page to learn how.

GIS Software Used

ArcGIS for Desktop version 10.x.


ArcGIS is a powerful and complex tool for viewing and analyzing data. With so much functionality available in the software, it can be difficult to get started. This 2-day class teaches essential skills for being efficient with ArcGIS. Explore GIS data through ArcMap and create maps to illustrate relationships in the data. Learn methods of displaying data with symbols and text. See how to ask questions of the data and get answers.


This class is primarily for those who are new to GIS and want to learn the basics of ArcGIS, Esri's standard software.

Topics Covered

Day 1
  • Introduction to GIS: Understand the components, goals, and reasons so many professionals use GIS.
    • What is GIS?
    • Working in ArcMap
  • ArcMap Basics: Interact with the data in the map and understand ArcGIS terms.
    • Essential Tools
  • Using Symbology to Analyze the Data: Change the appearance of the map to communicate the right information effectively.
    • Symbolizing Vector Data
    • Symbolizing Raster Data
    • Image Analysis Window
  • Designing Your Map for Presentation: Design *.pdf and printed maps.
    • Data View and Layout View
    • Designing the Page
    • Adding Elements to Explain the Data
    • Exporting and Printing
Day 2
  • Understanding GIS Data Types: Understand the data behind the map, including the difference between a shapefile and a geodatabase feature class, and learn about how to find GIS data online.
    • Finding Data
    • Accessing and Managing Data
    • GIS Data
    • Documenting Your Data
  • Asking Questions of Your Data: Ask questions of your data, such as, “Where are the hospitals with the most trauma patients?” and get answers like, “The average number of trauma patients in this area is…”
    • Selecting Features
    • Interactive Selection
    • Select by Attributes
    • Select by Location
    • Using the Selection
  • Optimizing the Display of Your Data: Emphasize patterns or trends in the data, filter schools by type, add text to the map, save and re-use data display settings.
    • Layer Organization
    • Layer Properties
    • Layer Files
  • Tables and Analysis: View data tables in ArcMap. Start with an Excel spreadsheet of coordinates and end with a map of recent earthquake points. Learn how to buffer hurricane paths or clip out just the police stations from a specific county.
    • Working with Tables
    • Plotting Coordinates
    • Address Geocoding
    • Basic Geoprocessing

Prerequisites and Recommendations

Students should have knowledge of Microsoft Windows®.

What You Will Receive

  • 15 hours of instruction from a CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT).
  • Use of a student PC while in class, with appropriate GIS software and access to training data.
  • A TeachMeGIS student workbook (to keep) which includes the lecture slides, exercises, and a DVD of the training data.
  • Upon completion, a signed completion certificate which will indicate the CEUs (1.5) and GISCI points (0.375) earned.
  • KCGIS Center’s 30 for 30 Support—30 minutes of phone, email, or face-to-face support within 30 days after class completion. This is our commitment to you to help ensure that you can apply your new GIS skills successfully.

Our Students Speak

“Great introduction—I liked the combination of lecture, textbook, and exercises. The exercises were especially efficient in touching on many different aspects without going into too much detail. Thanks!”

“Well done. I put my GIS skills to use the first week back on the job. Thank you!”

“Good simple explanations. Tough but doable exercises”

“This class is for anyone needing to make accurate maps containing data appropriate for their needs and to share with others who may not be able to get the information accurately and in one place.”