Want to learn more about Geographic Information System (GIS)?
Beginner guides to GIS
If you have never used GIS before, why not take a look at one of these beginner guides to GIS?
- Complete beginners may find ESRI's "What is GIS" a useful starting point (suitable for people with limited experience of computers and no GIS experience)
- Wikipedia - Geographic Information System offers a quick-and-easy introduction to GIS, focusing on the main concepts and terms (suitable for people with some experience of computers and no GIS experience).
- ESRI's online guide - what is GIS? is a comprehensive but straightforward introduction to the whats, whys and hows of GIS, with in-depth definitions and illustrations. Hint: click on Learn More at the end of sections for illustrated explanations of concepts and terms (suitable for people with some experience of computers and little or no GIS experience).
Practise using GIS
If you have an Internet connection, and want to become more familiar with GIS, why not use one of the following free interactive mapping tools on the internet:
- The free Community Mapping services within Mosaic
- The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Deep Blue Mapping The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Coastal Habitat Resources Information System (CHRIS)
- Google Earth - a free global internet resource that incorporates layers from existing GIS around the world into a single publicly accessible Open GIS application. Please note that you need to download some free software onto your computer before you can use Google Earth. Alternatively, use Google Maps (a two-dimensional mapping product that doesn't require a download).
- Nasa World Wind - a free global Internet resource that allows you to zoom in from satellite altitude to any place on earth, experiencing geographical features in 3D. Please note that you need to download some free software onto your computer before you can use NASA World Wind.
Take your learning further
ESRI Virtual Campus offers online training courses suitable for complete beginners to advanced users some of which are offered free:
- Are you interested in learning how to use GIS to address issues within your local community? ESRI Virtual Campus offers a free on-line seminar called Partnering for Community Action. The seminar is designed for anyone who may be interested in working on a collaborative GIS project to benefit their community, e.g. educators, students, community groups. You will need a broadband Internet connection and Windows Media Player installed on your computer to view the presentation.
- Are you interested in learning how to use GIS maps in the classroom? ESRI Virtual Campus offers a free on-line seminar called Using GIS Internet Maps in the Classroom. The seminar is designed for teachers and students who want to learn about using GIS Internet maps in an educational setting. You will need a broadband Internet connection and Windows Media Player installed on your computer to view the presentation.
The School of Tropical Environmental Studies and Geography at James Cook University, Townsville and Cairns offers coursework programs and block-mode courses in GIS at undergraduate and postgraduate level
The National Centre for Geographic Information Analysis (a Canadian / US consortium of universities) offers a comprehensive university-level curriculum in GIS (suitable for people with a good understanding of computers and little or no GIS experience) which is available online.
Natural Resources Canada offers online tutorials in remote sensing (including radar, stereoscopy, and satellite image interpretation) for students of all ages and levels of understanding
If you don't have broadband Internet access ...
... why not make use of the FREE internet access available in Townsville City Council CityLibraries?
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For further information about GIS, please contact Geospatial Solutions.
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