“FREE“–How intriguing the word can be. Last time, we have learned FREE data sources for Geospatial/GIS data in US areas (See “8 Free Geospatial/GIS Data Sources for U.S. Areas“). Of course, in order to process those data properly, it is definitely essential to understand basic concepts of GIS & Geospatial analysis , as well as to learn how to process and analyze particular datasets properly.
Hence, here comes a list of FREE learning sources, including GIS software training courses and tutorials, applied learning materials, workshops and webinars related to GIS and/or Geospatial analysis, etc. All of them are Free of Cost . Take advantage of these resources and learn on your own with a bonus benefit–“making your resume more colorful!”
1. Free GIS Software Training Courses & Tutorials
|Esri Training Catalog for Free Training||Quantum GIS for Newbies eCourse||GRASS GIS Tutorials|
|Offered by||Esri||Learning Practical GIS.com||GRASS Development Team|
|Software Download||ArcGIS for Desktop 60-Day Free Trial||Free||Free|
|Type of Learning Materials||Offer more than 100 online training courses||An online course video and downloadable tutorials||Online tutorials available for different languages|
2. GIS / Geospatial Podcasts
When mentioning Geo- or GIS-related podcasts, many people may think about ESRI Speaker Series Podcasts. Here I will introduce two more useful sources: A Very Spatial and GIS and Location Technology on iTunes. See the table below for detail:
|Name||A Very Spatial Podcast||GIS and Location Technology Podcast|
|Farallon Geographics INC.|
|How to Subscribe||Subscribe through iTunes & RSS Feed||Subscribe through iTunes|
3. Online Workshops, Webinars, & Applied Learning Materials
Several online sources offer a wide variety of topics related to GIS and Geospatial analysis via online workshops, webinars, or downloadable learning materials. Although comprehensiveness, depth, and types of contents may vary a lot, each of them brings more or less insights, dependent on what you are looking for. The list below is organized based on its major concept:
|Feature Topic||Name||Offered by||Contents|
|General GIS||GIS Tutor||GIS Tutor Community||
|General GIS||Principles of Geographic Information Systems||Texas A&M University, Department of Geography||
|Open-source GIS||BostonGIS||Boston GIS Group||
|Open-source GIS||Opensource Workshops||Boundless.com||
|Geospatial Analysis||Geospatial Data Mining||The Institute of Statistics and Information Management, Universidade Nova de Lisboa||
|Geospatial Analysis||Spatial Database Course Material||Dublin Institute of Technology, School of Computing||
|Geospatial Analysis||A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping||Dr. Tomislav Hengl (Author)||
4. Free Online GIS/Geospatial Courses from Universities
|Introduction to GIS from Harvard Map Collection||Harvard Map Collection online workshops||Harvard College Library||
|Geo-information Technology for Crisis Management||OpenCourseWare* (OCW)||Delft University of Technology||
|Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems||OCW*||MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology||
|A Workshop on Geographic Information Systems;||OCW*||MIT||
|GIS Courses Offered by Department of Geography||Open Educational Resources Platform||Penn State University||
|GIS/Maps/Satellite Tools||OCW*||Utah State University||
* OpenCourseWare(OCW) is an online learning platform widely used by higher education institutes (e.g., MIT, Penn State University, UC Berkeley,etc.) and often made course materials publicly available via Internet. However, there are catches for learning from them right now– Parts of contents may be dated (especially for advanced technical approaches and practical examples), while the underlying principles and concepts are still valuable.
MOOC (/muːk/), abbreviation of “Massive Open Online Course“, recently is the hottest term for online learning. It represents online course that are made available to a very large number of people via the Internet without charge. In other words, thousands of users can access courses at the same time freely. You might be surprised that how fast GIS/Geospatial educators catch this trend–Quite a few GIS/Geospatial analysis courses have been (or have planned to) offered periodically through different MOOC platforms. Here comes my pocket list:
|Name||Platform||Offered by||Registration Required||Contents|
|Introduction to Geographical Information Systems||Canvas Network||University of West Florida||Yes||
|Canvas Network||Del Mar College||Yes||
|Coursera||Penn State University||Yes||
|Coursera||Penn State University||Yes||
|gvSIG Association in Collaboration with GISMAP||No||
|Skills for the Digital Earth: The Use of Location Technologies for All||
School of Professional Studies
Bonus–More Gems to Be Collected
Following sources are bonus, which I find them useful regarding my expertise . However, some contents could be quite focus on particular fields. Thus, explore them by yourself and see whether any more “GIS / Geospatial” gem you can collect.
- Python offered by Codecademy: This course is great for coding beginners. The instructional interface is interactive with a well-organized flow. I really learn how to write a basic Python code.
- Esri offered 3 free ArcGIS -related, Python training: (1) Python for Everyone; (2) Creating Desktop Add-ins Using Python (for ArcGIS 10.1); (3) Creating Python Toolboxes Using ArcGIS 10.1.
- It is a combined list of 10 courses. You can tell that the curriculum design is for a “data scientist,” not a “GIS or Geospatial” analyst. However, some contents are quite useful if you are interested in collaborative development of GIS databases/projects via Github or perform hard-core spatial statistical analysis using R.
- Integrated Geospatial Education & Technology Training (iGETT)
- IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society Tutorials