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Maps, Aerial Photographs, and GIS (MAGIS): Learning & Working with GIS

Information about the physical and digital collections in Maps, Aerial Photos, and Geographic Information Systems. Also the GIS Lab and GIS data and imagery sources.

Learning GIS on Your Own

GIS Tutorials and Courses

Esri Virtual Classes (ArcGIS)

There are many online classes on a wide range of topics that are free to the UH-Manoa students, faculty and staff.

 Assorted Courses and Tutorials

  • GIS @ UC San Diego Tutorials - various tutorials created by GIS staff at UC San Diego as well as selected tutorials from other websites.
  • Coursera - choose from hundreds of courses created by the world’s top educational institutions. Courses are open to anyone, and learning is free. Geospatial examples:
    • Maps and the Geospatial Revolution
    • From GPS and Google Maps to Spatial Computing
    • Geospatial Intelligence & the Geospatial Revolution





Teaching GIS An Open Geospatial Textbook
By D. DiBase etal. Used for Penn State courses.

Geospatial Analysis - a comprehensive guide
Free online edition of text by Dr. Michael de Smith and Prof. Paul Longley, University College London, and Prof. Mike Goodchild, UC Santa Barbara.

A Place in History: A Guide to Using GIS in Historical Research
An online book published by Ian Gregory.

Instructional Resources for Integrating Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Course syllabi for a range of university classes on geotechnology (Teach GIS)

GIS Community Support

ArcGIS Forums
Support from the ArcGIS user community.

Esri Support
Includes Knowledge Base. Include ArcGIS version when searching (eg. 10.0, 10.1,10.2).

GIS Stack Exchange
A question and answer site for cartographers, geographers, and GIS professionals. Particularly useful for open source software questions.

GIS Linked-In Group Discussions
More than 46,000 members.

SAGA GIS Forum/Discussions

Jobs, Careers, & Community

Hawaii Geographic Information Coordinating Council (HIGICC)

GIS Jobs Clearinghouse for GIS/RS jobs.

GIS&T Body of Knowledge
Published by AAG. Free pdf available; order print for $5.00.

GIS Certification Institute

Esri Technical Certification

ASPRS Certification Program

Imaging & Geospatial Information Society

URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association)
Association for GIS professionals.

GIS Lounge

GIS Cafe


What is GIS?

GIS Concepts

GIS Data
The GIS Lounge provides the basics: what is geographic data and the different types (vector versus raster), what are errors in GIS data, metadata, and where to find GIS data on the Internet.

How is GIS Used?

The Geospatial Revolution
Four online videos created at Penn State University (2010).

  1. Background information
  2. GIS applications for local government
  3. Geospatial technology in the world of security
  4. World-scale applications: monitoring global climate change, preventing famine, tracking disease and mapping communities

Examples of GIS Applications

Articles and Papers on GIS

GIS Software

Proprietary Software

UH has a site license for Esri ArcGIS Desktop. Campus IT administers this license. For information about obtaining an Esri ArcGIS Desktop user license contact Make sure your computer hardware meets the minimum requirements for installing and running ArcGIS Desktop.

Open Source GIS Software

The following programs are opensource, freeware, or shareware programs that provide varying levels of GIS processing.

  • Diva-GIS - User-friendly, includes spatial analysis functions.
  • QGIS (previously known as "Quantum GIS") - Browse, create maps - supports common formats.
  • Christine GIS - Lightweight, simple and basic GIS software.
  • SAGA GIS - Fully open source, powerful application.


GIS Dictionary (Esri)

Glossary of Cartographic Terms (Perry-Castañeda Library)

Citing Maps, Aerial Photos, and Geospatial Data