Online GIS Courses and Classes Overview

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to gather and synthesize data about locations and geology. Online GIS courses are available in remote sensing, programming, modeling, spatial analysis and GIS applications.

Online Courses in GIS

Some of the most common GIS courses that can be found online include:

  • Remote Sensing Course: Students learn about remote sensing principles, detection technologies, interpretation techniques and real-world applications. Earth-observing technologies covered include satellite systems, aerial cameras and electronic imaging. Students discuss the electromagnetic spectrum and radiation principles as they learn about detectable energy sources and discover how to attain accurate measurements using photogrammetric techniques.
  • Data Resources, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Course:This course discusses spatial thinking, analysis and modeling concepts used in GIS technologies and applications. Students learn to identify the type of information needed for a project and determine whether quality data already exists or needs to be generated. A survey of existing technologies for spatial analysis and modeling is provided. Students gain experience utilizing some of these tools as they integrate data and create models to solve spatial problems.
  • GIS Programming Course: This course provides an overview of GIS database needs assessment, design, development and customization. Students are introduced to programming basics and focus on ways of automating tasks to increase functionality. Students learn to write code and utilize the latest GIS software as they practice creating, maintaining and integrating databases first-hand.
  • GIS Applications Course: This course covers the wide array of practical GIS uses, including environmental impact assessment, natural resource management, geohazard identification and natural disaster monitoring. Students learn how GIS is used to inform decisions in various fields, including strategic planning, marketing, national security and urban planning. Exercises employ GIS data sets and software to provide experience solving real-world problems.
  • GIS Database Development Course: GIS students will constantly find themselves working with databases, and this course familiarizes students with the process of creating and maintaining a database. Using GIS software, students will learn the basics of database design and management
  • Cyber Geography Course: This course covers the geospatial intelligence analysis techniques that can be used to evaluate the geographical aspects of cyber data. The curriculum also covers observables, products and the impacts of method alterations.
  • GIS Professionalism Course: In this course, experienced and aspiring GIS professionals learn about the ethical issues that must be considered when working in the GIS field. They are prepared to recognize and analyze possible ethical conflicts, as well as to develop strategies that address these issues.

Program Information

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to collect, organize, store, analyze, and present information related to location. Geographers, cartographers, photogrammetrists, surveyors, mapmakers and software designers are all examples of professions that utilize GIS. Universities offer online GIS courses for continuing education purposes, as well as part of certificate and master's degree-granting programs.

Individuals who want to prepare for success in the GIS industry can find relevant technical coursework online, most commonly at the graduate level.

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