Monthly Archives: October 2009

Training Spotlight: Make Better-Quality GIS Maps


While anyone can use GIS tools to make a map, not everyone has a background in proper map design and cartographic theory. If decisions are based on inaccurate or misleading maps, the results can be disastrous. Creating and Publishing Maps with ArcGIS is a new instructor-led course from Esri that prepares GIS users to successfully complete a variety of realistic mapping projects, including designing maps for the Web.

In the interview below, course author Eric Gillett shares his thoughts about the course and how it reflects current trends in GIS mapmaking. Eric is an education specialist in the Training Services Content group. Continue reading

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Use the Five-Step GIS Analysis Process

Last week’s post featured ArcGIS 3: Performing Analysis, an Esri instructor-led training course that teaches a five-step process for GIS analysis. Today’s post shows how to apply that process using ArcMap and datasets from Esri Data & Maps.

Suppose you want to analyze access to health care services in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in southern California.

Locator map of study area

The five steps in the analysis process are:

  1. Frame the question
  2. Explore and prepare data
  3. Choose analysis methods and tools
  4. Perform the analysis
  5. Examine and refine results

Step 1. Frame the Question

This step seems straightforward because typically you’re assigned a project to obtain specific information. Some projects involve answering several questions derived from a high-level question. How you frame the questions helps determine which GIS tools and methods you use for the analysis. Continue reading

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Course Teaches 5-Step Process for GIS Analysis

Fall has arrived, but data from last summer’s Esri Training survey is still being analyzed. One survey question asked respondents to tell us what GIS topics they would need training on in the next 12 months. The information gleaned from this question helps us focus our resources on developing training products that best meet our users’ needs.

This year, it was gratifying to learn that the most requested training topic was ”GIS analysis techniques and methods.” More than 55 percent of respondents selected this topic. It just so happened that we got the report on the survey results around the same time we released our instructor-led course, Performing Analysis with ArcGIS Desktop. [Update: The most recent version of this course is ArcGIS 3: Performing Analysis.]

We took our time designing and developing this course because we wanted to offer our users a signature course on analysis. After all, the power of a GIS to inform decision making derives from the robust analysis tools and capabilities it offers.

Performing Analysis with ArcGIS Desktop takes a holistic approach to teaching GIS analysis techniques and methods. The course is built around a five-step process you can apply to any project to generate reliable results for decision makers.

  1. Frame the question
  2. Explore and prepare data
  3. Choose analysis methods and tools
  4. Perform the analysis
  5. Examine and refine results

Course exercises provide opportunities to practice with many ArcGIS analysis tools, including those used for site selection, surface analysis, weighted suitability modeling, and regression analysis, as well as spatial statistics tools used to examine data patterns and find hot spots. Some complex spatial modeling techniques like conditional branching using Python scripts and iteration are also covered.

If you’re someone who needs training on GIS analysis, this signature course is the one to sign up for.

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