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Introduction to GIS

Course Outline

Geographic Information System (GIS) allows us to view, understand, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that have never been achieved before. Because of its power of revealing relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts, GIS has become an indispensable tool in such fields as land development, urban planning, natural resource management, environmental studies, utility networks, infrastructure inventory, natural hazard mitigation, business marketing, public health, public safety and national security. Together with cartography, remote sensing, global positioning systems, photogrammetry, and geography, the GIS has evolved into a discipline with its own research base known as geographic information sciences. Therefore, having a basic understanding of what GIS is and how it can be used will help engineers and architects expand their knowledge base and adapt to this rapidly changing world. This course introduces students to the history of GIS development and the basic concepts behind GIS. In addition, students will learn some of the popular applications of GIS.

The course has a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will learn:

Intended Audience

This course is designed for engineers, architects, contractors, or anyone who has a desire to explore the application of GIS in their fields.

Course Content

In this course, you are required to study the following:

1. Geographic Information System (PDF, 22 pages)
2. Fundamentals of GIS (PDF, 35 pages)
3. List of Geographic Information System Software (PDF, 7 pages)

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:

USGS - Geographic Information Systems
USGS Water Resources - Maps and GIS Data
ESRI - Mapping for Everyone
Choosing a GIS - SPACE Learning Resources


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.