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Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is a Course

Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Ended Jul 1, 2017

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Full course description

Course Date:

May 15 - Jun 26, 2017


6 weeks


2-3 hrs/week



Course Type:





GIS (Geographical Information Systems) is everywhere. From your smartphone to your tablet, location enabled devices are present in almost every household. With over 80% of all data having some type of spatial (or geographical) component, GIS and the principles of geographic data have relevancy everywhere. This course will introduce students to GIS and the principles of spatial data in their personal life as well as applications of GIS across various industries. Major components of the course include computer representation of geographic information, the basics of GIS databases, spatial analysis with GIS, and application areas of GIS. At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of elementary GIS theory and examples of GIS-based solutions in the world around them.

Topics include:

Week 1: Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Week 2: Layers, Scales of Measurement, Map Design

Week 3: Inside A GIS

Week 4: Earth Measurements, Coordinate Systems and Projections

Week 5: GIS Editing, Geoprocessing, and Programming

Week 6: GIS Data and Analysis in GIS

Target Audience: Professionals and students exploring a potential career with GIS.

Course is offered by the University of West Florida GeoData Center.

Course Instructors

Amber Bloechle

Amber Bloechle

GIS Director

Amber is a GIS Director at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL for Online GIS programs including two GIS Certificates, a Professional Science Masters in GIS program, and Continuing Education Training Academy courses. She earned Master of Science in Environmental Science from UWF in 2007 and used those skills as an analyst working on coastal research for EPA and a local consulting firm before getting hired on at UWF. Amber has been involved with online programs since UWF first began offering the GIS Certificate online in 2006. Working her way up the ranks from a graduate assistant, an adjunct, to Coordinator, she was named GIS Director of Fall 2013. When she's not attending to the needs of the program or brewing up new courses and labs, she's sharing capabilities of spatial software with local schools, clubs, and professional groups. It’s a personal goal of hers to involve GIS in area K-12 schools and to increase the use of spatial analysis in area businesses. Amber also likes to daydream about new GIS applications. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors with my family at beautiful locations the Florida Panhandle has to offer. They like to travel whenever possible too; mostly to parks and especially beaches.