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Learn GIS

Learn GIS is a wiki-based site designed to support students in GIS 101. The textbook and help pages are publicly available to share the learning with anyone who is looking to brush up on the concepts behind GIS or a simple explanation of entry level skills in ArcGIS.

Text Format

Each chapter is designed to be read from start to finish and each section follows a fairly similar pattern.

  • Overview slideshow
  • Text reading sprinkled with activities and comprehension quizzes
  • Summary to test understanding of the section’s main concepts

What Is on the ESRI Entry Level Exam?

While this site is in no way associated with ESRI, the class it supports is designed to prepare students for Intermediate GIS. Upon completion of Intermediate GIS, students should be able to attempt the ESRI Entry Level Exam (even though they may want some more experience first, the skills on the exam will be covered)

  • Construct a map using available datasets (local and online)
  • Select the data by attribute or location
  • Build a simple definition query (SQL)
  • Add a toolbar/Activate an extension
  • Create a new feature class or shapefile
  • Create a new file geodatabase
  • Find or view data properties
  • Perform basic data editing (e.g. manipulation of points, lines, polygons and attributes)
  • Understand and be able to run the ‘Top 6’ geoprocessing tools
  • Demonstrate operations within a table
  • Describe the difference between geographic and projected coordinate systems
  • Define the purpose of geocoding
  • Set basic layer properties (e.g., symbology, visibility, transparency, labeling)
  • Symbology using categories and quantities
  • XY Coordinates on a map: Find, go to, and create new XY events
  • Understand and create item descriptions (metadata)
  • Describe the difference between small and large scale
  • Add basic map elements
  • Understand basic cartography concepts / “What makes a good map”
  • Export maps using ArcMap
  • Understand and perform simple manipulation on raster data