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Learn geographic information systems (GIS) online

Leverage the power of spatial analysis and visualization with GIS to solve complex, real-world problems. Enroll today and chart a course towards a successful career in geographic information systems with edX.

What is GIS?

GIS, or geographic information systems, is a technology that integrates spatial data, such as maps and satellite imagery, with analysis to understand patterns, relationships, and trends in a geographic context. It enables users to visualize, query, and interpret data to make informed decisions about location-based problems or challenges.

GIS is used in diverse industries like urban planning, natural resource management, emergency response, and business intelligence. When we reveal spatial patterns, we can uncover hidden relationships and address complex spatial challenges, such as how to promote sustainable land use and allocate resources after a natural disaster.

GIS can offer a stimulating and rewarding career path for those passionate about harnessing the power of location intelligence to make a tangible impact on society and the environment.

GIS | Introduction Image

GIS course curriculum

A beginner GIS course will introduce learners to primary GIS concepts, tools, and possibilities. For example, an introductory GIS class could cover lessons such as:

  • Understanding the capabilities and potential of GIS tools.

  • Using geoprocessing tools for spatial analysis, such as ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro software.

  • Communicating spatial analysis results through maps, graphs and ArcGIS story maps.

Start building the knowledge you need to work in GIS with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore GIS jobs

GIS analysis, visualization, and mapping skills can become a valuable tool in your skill set that is applicable in all kinds of careers and industries. Some potential careers for individuals with GIS skills include:

  • GIS analyst or specialist

  • Cartographer

  • Remote sensing analyst

  • Geospatial data scientist

  • Environmental planner

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant geo mapping and spatial visualization skills in a data analysis and visualization boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in engineering depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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