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GIS II - Vector & Raster Analysis

Course #: GIS-210
( 18 Votes ) 
Dates: March 9, 16, 23, [30], April 6, 13
Time: Wednesday evening 6:00-9:00pm
Instructor: Devan Morris
Level: PrerequisitePrerequisite. GIS Quick Start or equivalent required.
Cost: Early Reg. $199 | Full $249
(Early registration fee is available up to one week before the start of class)
Location: Mission Campus - Room 476
1125 Valencia St. San Francisco Ca 94110

Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) suite of GIS software, especially ArcGIS 10, has become the industry standard and is used by most government agencies and private firms engaged in geospatial analysis. This five-session workshop is designed for students interested in gaining intermediate-level skills in the use of ArcGIS 10. The topics include: geocoding, georeferencing, modelbuilder, and the Spatial Analyst toolset. 

The format will be a combination of lecture and hands-on exercises during which students will explore GIS concepts and applications.  The primary objective of the workshop is for students to acquire a set of core GIS skills sought by today's employers.  In so doing, students will use real-world vector and raster geospatial data from a variety of sources, including the City and County of San Francisco.   

The five-week workshop will focus on:

  • Geocoding addresses using ArcGIS 10 Address Locators
  • Georeferencing non-spatial raster imagery to spatially-accurate vector base maps - we call it “new life for old maps”
  • Geoprocessing using ArcToolbox tools such as Buffer, Clip and Union; visualizing workflows using Model Builder
  • Exploring ArcGIS Extensions, including Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst
  • Obtaining vector and raster data sets from web-based data portals such as USGS Seamless Server
  • Exploring the ArcGIS 10 Image Analysis functions
  • Application of GIS skills to collaboratively develop an approach and techniques for a site suitability project

Prereqs & Organization

(1) This workshop requires that students possess basic ArcGIS skills; the GIS Quick Start class would meet this requirement.

(2) Besides a familiarity with ArcGIS, students need to possess an intermediate-level knowledge of the Windows XP operating system and Excel.  This includes creating new files and folders, creating and managing new worksheets in Excel, familiarity with a wide range of file types (e.g. TXT, CSV, XLS, SHP, DBF) and transferring data between computers using a flash drive, or a web-based file transfer service (e.g. or a CD/DVD.

(3) Additional skills expected: storing, copying and management of multiple data types; managing multiple windows and applications; and the discipline to save work frequently.

(4) A strong motivation to learn, explore and have fun with computer applications is essential.  This workshop will require a significant amount of independent work and relies heavily on student initiative.

(5) An openness to working with other students in the class as a shared learning experience in order to complete assignments, build contacts in the professional GIS world and to support relatively new GIS learners.

The structure of each class will generally consist of a short lecture followed by 2 - 2.5 hours of hands-on lab time.  The instructor will open up as much class time as feasible in order to work individually with students and support their learning goals.  Homework assignments and readings may be distributed in order to reinforce GIS concepts and techniques.

Textbook & Materials
Flash Drive
Not all lab/exercise data are available online as GIS files can be large. It is recommended you bring a  1GB or greater flash drive. If you plan on taking additional GISEC workshops we recommend at minimum 2GB flash drive though encourage 4GB.

No textbook is required for this workshop.


I already have GIS experience. Am I ready for this class?

It depends. The GIS II - Vector & Raster Analysis workshop and other 200 level workshops are designed with the understanding students already poses basic fundamental GIS skills. If you haven't used GIS in over a year it may be a good idea to take the GIS Quick Start as a refresher. However, if your currently engaged with GIS or confident you've retained the basic GIS skills, which are taught in GIS Quick Start, then consider enrolling in the 200 level courses. Contact the instructor to discuss your situation.

Why is this class five weeks long? And why not taught over a weekend?

The answer is simply this: learning the basics of a desktop GIS software package, terminology, and concepts isn't feasible, in our honest opinion, over two or three days. Feedback from students has been clear in that they felt more time was needed to digest the material and feel comfortable working with the desktop GIS application. We believe our model best suites students who want to learn and retain GIS skills without feeling lost after a weekend crash course or don't desire a semester long course.

Do I really need to bring a storage device like a flash drive?

Yes. You will want to take your data with you. Even if you don't have a computer at home you may want practice at work or in the open lab.

Some web-based services such as and provide free transfer of single files up to a certain size, usually 1 GB.  Multiple data files can be consolidated into a single ZIP file prior to transfer.  Notification of successful transfers arrive via email.

There is no server space provided to store your work.


Can I bring my own personal computer to class?

Students are welcome to bring their personal computers into class to work on assignments. You will need a USB flash drive for saving files and transferring them to the personal computer.

Required Software
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint

Mac users
ArcGIS is not distributed for Mac's, you must have: BootCamp, SWSoft's Parallels, VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox installed.



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